Govt Opens Debate on Bills to Empower Judges

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Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, on Tuesday afternoon, opened debate on two bills which are intended to empower judges to order victims who’ve suffered loss or damage to be immediately compensated at the end of a criminal trial.

The bills are: the Criminal Justice Administration Amendment Act 2017 and the Indictment Amendment Act 2017.

The Justice Minister told parliament that the move to empower judges to order compensation in certain circumstances is intended to reduce the number of cases in the civil court.

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Minister Chuck says the bills are also intended to allow for more cases to be decided by a judge alone.

They’ll also allow for the trial of multiple offenses on one indictment.

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Meanwhile, Minister Chuck called on stakeholders to, if possible, find alternative means to settle disputes outside of the formal court system.

He says there are now more than 2,000 cases before the Circuit Court.

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Debate on the bills was suspended until next week.

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Abka Fitz-Henley is a multiple award-winning journalist who is currently the Senior Reporter at Nationwide News Network (NNN). His primary areas of focus are Court, Crime and Parliamentary proceedings. Fitz-Henley was recently recognized in the regional celebrity magazine publication Panache as “The Breaking News Boss”. At 21 years of age, following his 1st year in media, Fitz-Henley was recognized with the Young Journalist of the year award from The Press Association of Jamaica and went on to cop one of the country’s highest recognized journalism prizes, the Journalist of the Year Award. He’s also been awarded the prestigious Corporate Jamaica Broilers Fairplay 1st place Award for investigative journalism and is the recipient of the Caribbean Blog Award for coverage of the infamous Kartel murder trial. Fitz-Henley is also the recipient of the PM Youth Award for Excellence. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC London.