Jamaican courts get international nod for excellence
THE Jamaican judiciary has achieved its target of becoming a member of the prestigious International Consortium for Court Excellence (ICCE).
Jamaica joins the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice of Brazil as the only ICCE members in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.
The ICCE is a quality management system designed to help courts improve their performance. It represents an all-encompassing approach to achieving court excellence, rather than a more limited focus on particular aspects of court governance, management or operations.
The main court excellence tool developed by the ICCE is the International Framework for Court Excellence.
The framework is the accepted standard of good court governance and administration and is designed to be used as the yardstick against which aspiring members are measured. These include the levels of backlog, efficiency, and service delivery.
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes introduced the courts to the ICCE when he took office in 2018, and since then the courts have applied the continuous improvement methodology (assess, analyse, implement and evaluate) developed by the framework. The objective of the methodology is to improve, continuously, the performance and administration of the courts.
The ICCE requires all members to administer its self-assessment survey and to submit a report on the seven areas of court excellence — court leadership; development and implementation of strategies and policies; court workforce; court infrastructure, proceedings and processes; court user engagement; affordable and accessible court services; and public trust and confidence.
According to Sykes, “This represents a major milestone for the judiciary of Jamaica as we continue the work of transforming the courts into modern and efficient places of business. Under the ICCE framework we are required to measure our work each year in order to maintain membership, and as such, while we celebrate this milestone we must continue to work to maintain our membership — which means the courts must continue to perform efficiently and effectively.”
The judiciary of Jamaica, under the leadership of Sykes, has supported, promoted, and applied the framework to the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, and the parish courts, improving their performances and administration.
In the judiciary’s first Strategic Business Plan (2019-2023), the chief justice openly expressed his desire for membership in the ICCE as it is the only global organisation dedicated to identifying and developing best practices for courts.