MONTEGO BAY, St James — JUSTICE Minister Senator Mark Golding says a fledgling legal outsourcing industry could provide employment prospects for young lawyers.
"We are training lots of new, young lawyers to come on board into the legal profession. How are we going to employ all of them?" Golding asked at a justice forum in this western resort city.
"Montego Bay, apart from being a resort capital of Jamaica, is also a business capital of Jamaica and has potential for growth of employment in Jamaica, through business process outsourcing, knowledge process outsourcing, even legal process outsourcing which is a new field that is emerging," the justice minister argued.
He pointed to large international firms handling major acquisition transactions and mergers which were outsourcing "millions of documents that have to be reviewed from a due diligence standpoint". Firms in countries like India, where lawyers charge more competitive rates than their counterparts in London or New York, were benefitting, the justice minister said.
"That is an area where I think that Jamaica can look to get into," he said.
However, he warned that activities in the lottery scam, prevalent in Montego Bay, threatens the likelihood of these jobs.
"But, if we have a problem where our image and reputation is being soiled, as a place where dishonesty is rife and elderly people abroad, vulnerable people abroad are being ripped off by unscrupulous persons here who are using information which those businesses generate here, then our future is being compromised and we can't afford to let that happen."
He reiterated that legislation to tackle the lottery scam should be in place by the end of this fiscal year.
His expectation hinges on information that the first draft of a bill will come before Cabinet by month-end.