THE EDITOR, Madam:
Jamaica is riddled with strife, conflicts and grievances that often lead to bloody and frightening results. The use of gun, knife and machete to settle disputes is well known.
A man has been contacted by a lady to carry out construction work. At the end of the job, the worker went for payment. She found all kinds of reasons to discredit the trader’s work and ended up not paying him. The shopkeeper got very angry and started looking for a machete in a neighbor’s yard, stating that he was going to chop it. On the intervention of the owner of the yard where he looked for the machete, common sense prevailed and he calmed down.
The police have been called and their intervention has allowed the man to agree to take the case to court, but he is still angry and is considering giving up the court system. He felt that justice is too bureaucratic and that the queue in the courtroom is too heavy and exhaustive.
Another man accused of having committed a sexual offense was arrested, charged and brought to court, which he attended on numerous occasions. The complainant eventually told the court that the accused man did not commit the act against her.
The case was dismissed, but the accused remains bitter and suffers damage to his reputation. He feels like the justice system has raped him and he doesn’t have an olive branch for him. This also applies to other offenses, for which witnesses lie.
As a first step, it would be prudent for the dispute resolution centers to be restructured so that the police can issue official documents to both to come to the center for a hearing. Such a hearing should be presided over by justices of the peace (JPs), with the requisite training to award costs for damages, if any. These justices of the peace should be able to deal with costs of up to $ 1 million. The court would always retain the power to review cases handled by these centers. In addition, dispute resolution should be part of the arbitration of these matters.
In the second case, when a witness or complainant clearly states that he did not tell the truth, or it is clear that the witness lied, the court should assess the damages and compensate the person (s). injured persons. In addition, prosecution costs should be paid to the state for resources used to prepare cases in court.
These are my humble suggestions that can be part of justice reform in our country.