Sykes argues for less time to do things

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 24, 2018

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BRACO, Trelawny — Chief Justice Bryan Sykes says the public's popular chorus surrounding “the length of time that it takes to get things done” must end and, as a result, different ways must be found to improve and create an efficient justice system.

“So we need to begin to ask the difficult questions. Why do we do this? There might be good reasons why we did it then, but does that reason still obtain? Can we do it a better way, a more efficient way?” questioned Justice Sykes.

The chief justice continued: “At the end of the day, with or without resources, the constant complaints of members of the public is the length of time that it takes to get things done. And so, we want to remove that refrain.”

The chief justice was giving his opening remarks on day two of a three-day Case Flow Management Seminar facilitated by the National Centre for State Courts in collaboration with the Judicial Education Institute of Jamaica.

The continuing judicial education is being held at the Meliá Braco Village in Trelawny.

Justice Sykes, in making his case for improvements in the system, pointed to the Registrar General's Department and the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) which had improved their performances significantly.

“You have the example of the Registrar General's Department. For those of you who would remember, almost every day there was an article in the press complaining about the service at the Registrar General's Department; that is virtually non-existant now. So they took on the challenge, and they improved, again in the context of limited resources,” argued Justice Sykes.

“The same thing used to happen at the passport office. You remember those long lines? And having to go to the passport office from three, four o'clock in the morning if you are coming from rural Jamaica. That is virtually non-existent now. And so that, again, was done in the context of limited resources by Jamaicans for Jamaicans,” the Chief Justice said.

Justice Sykes further noted that it is time to utilise the opportunity to improve the legal system.

“We as the co-equal arm of Government... we have our challenge, and it is our turn now to rise to that challenge so that we can have a legal system of which we can be justly proud,” stated Justice Sykes.

“And so the task of our generation of judges is to leave the legacy of an efficient justice system for future generations to come,” added the Chief Justice.

Experts from the United States made presentations at the seminar, among them senior judge Gregory Mize, judicial fellow national centre for State Courts.

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