For the period April to September 2020, 367 aspiring Justices of the Peace (JPs) from across the island benefited from qualifying training sessions hosted virtually by the Justice Training Institute (JTI), the arm of the justice ministry mandated to provide training and development opportunities for justice sector stakeholders.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the JTI has paused its face-to-face sessions with aspiring JPs and is now delivering qualifying training online.
The JPs have been trained in several areas to include a review of the Justices of the Peace Act, which includes the JP code of conduct; the official seals regulations; and the Bail Act and Regulations. The participants also received guidance on the authentication and attestation of documents; writing recommendations; and observing identification parades.
Director/Principal, JTI, Karen Campbell-Bascoe, says despite the pandemic, through online sessions, the institute has been able to sufficiently equip qualified members of the community with the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes to fulfill the roles and functions of JPs. She further noted that individuals have welcomed the initiative and are adapting well to the online training delivery.
“Despite the challenges that use of the Internet sometimes presents, we are still able to equip these participants with the tools they need to serve within our justice system as JPs. I must commend the training participants as well, for the level of enthusiasm displayed during the sessions and their willingness to adapt. Their attitude emphasizes the importance they place on making meaningful contributions to their communities and the wider society,” she noted.
Since April 2020, the JTI has been delivering online training and academic programmes for JPs and justice sector workers.
In the 2019/2020 fiscal year, the institute conducted 21 qualifying training sessions across 10 parishes where 641 new JPs were trained. In the previous fiscal year, 1,058 JPs benefited from the JTI’s specialised training sessions.
As at May this year, the number of JPs across the island stands at 9,074.
Persons who are interested in becoming JPs should complete the application form which may be found on the Ministry of Justice’s website (moj.gov.jm) or contact the ministry at (876)906-4923 for more information.