The title of Resident Magistrate will soon be abolished and replaced with the designation, Judge of the Parish Court.
This under amendments to the Resident Magistrate and Supreme Court Acts, passed today in the Senate.
The amendments passed today in the Senate aim to not only change the designation of those persons who now function as Resident Magistrates, they’re also designed to give them security of tenure.
Resident Magistrates can only serve in the parish in which they live.
Under the amendments, the new Judges of the Parish Court will be allowed to serve in any parish.
Additionally, the amendments establish the appointment of a Chief Judge to oversee the activities of parish courts.
That Chief Judge will function in a similar manner to the role played by Permanent Secretaries in Cabinet Ministries.
Opposition Senator, Tom Tavares Finson, argued that these reforms were proposed by Opposition members, during the recent debate on the three CCJ Bills.
He says it’s ironic that those proposals were rejected.
Senator Finson says if the reforms continue apace, the country would have created it’s own final court of appeal and would have no need to subscribe to the CCJ.
Government Senator Lambert Brown used the opportunity to round on critics who’ve accused the PNP administration of not doing enough to improve the local justice system.
He says the government is improving the local justice system, while paving the way to the CCJ as a final appellate court.