Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, says it’s time to restore balance between the State and the accused by providing the prosecution with the right to appeal.
Mr. Chuck made the statement while opening the debate on the attendant legislation.
The Justice Minister says the modern realities of crime and justice require a review of the traditional rules.
Chevon Campbell tells us more.
The Justice Minister says the justice system has long since acknowledge a imbalance between the state and accused.
This has resulted in enshrining of certain safeguards to protect the accused such as the burden of proof and the double jeopardy rule.
However he says the scales have now tipped requiring a break away from some of the traditional rules.
He uses for example fresh evidence coming to light after an acquittal or in instances due to acquittals’ resulting from actions designed to pervert the course of justice otherwise known as administration of justice offenses.
The Bill according to Minister Chuck will amend the law to provide only a limited right of appeal in certain circumstances.
The Minister is also seeking to amend the Criminal Justice Act to granting the right to a prosecutor to request an exception to the double jeopardy rule and allow for a retrial after an acquittal.
Double Jeopardy is the principle that a individual cannot be prosecuted twice for the same offence.
Minister Chuck says the amendments would bring Jamaica inline with the rest of the region.
Meanwhile, Minister Chuck is urging those with concerns or recommendations regarding the bill to make them known.
He says to date, despite the bill being tabled for weeks, no stakeholder has put forward an opinion on the legislation.
He says he’ll keep the debate open for a few weeks to allow comments from the public.
Delroy Chuck, Justice Minister.
He was speaking in the House of Representatives yesterday.