The Opposition People’s National Party is raising an alarm over the state of the country’s court reporters.

In a statement, Senator Donna Scott Mottley, Opposition Spokesperson on Justice expressed grave concern over the growing crisis in court reporting, particularly the reported shortage of court reporters in the St. Catherine Circuit Court and other courts across the country.

This shortage, she warns, is placing an immense burden on the judicial system, with the imminent risk of prematurely ending court terms due to insufficient staff and resources. Senator Scott Mottley noted that court reporters play a pivotal role in ensuring the accuracy and transparency of court proceedings, and their absence poses a serious threat to the administration of justice. The shortage is not only jeopardising the timely resolution of cases but also undermining the integrity of the legal process.

According to Mrs Scott Mottley, the Opposition Spokesperson emphasized that the government must urgently address the concerns raised by court reporters regarding their salaries and working conditions. It has been reported that many court reporters have not received their outstanding salaries and have been enduring unfavourable working conditions, leading to demoralisation and, ultimately, a shortage in this critical profession.

“The government’s failure to address the concerns of court reporters is not only a disservice to the dedicated professionals who ensure the smooth functioning of our courts but also a threat to the very foundation of our justice system,” said Senator Donna Scott Mottley.

The Opposition Spokesperson is calling on the government to take immediate action to rectify this situation, including conducting an urgent review of court reporter salaries to ensure they are commensurate with the vital role they play in the justice system as well as addressing working conditions and providing the necessary resources to attract and retain qualified court reporters.