Circuit Courts affected by sit-in among prosecutors over salary issues Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Circuit Court sittings in five parishes across the island have been impacted by the staging of a sit-in by prosecutors from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) on Thursday.

At the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston only one of the nine courts hearing criminal matters proceeded as scheduled, according to the Court Administration Division (CAD).

The prosecutors are upset that despite their attempts to get a meeting with Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, to discuss issues relative to their salaries under the new compensation review programme, there has reportedly been no response from the minister.

In a statement over the title ‘Concerned prosecutors, ODPP’, they said two letters were sent to Clarke dated May 26, 2023 and July 12, 2023.

The letters, which were reportedly emailed, were purportedly copied to Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, the permanent secretaries in the finance and justice ministries; and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn.

“To date, there has been no response to these letters. We perceive this lack of response as utter disregard and disrespect to prosecutors,” said the concerned prosecutors.

They added: “Today (Thursday), the prosecutors have called an urgent meeting to address our concerns regarding our welfare, well-being and the way forward.”

Meanwhile, Director of Client Services, Communication and Information at the CAD, Kadiesh Fletcher, said the Trelawny Circuit Court, where Chief Justice Bryan Sykes is presiding over proceedings there, has not been affected by the sit-in.

“Presently, there are seven parishes which have Circuit sittings,” she said in an audio statement.

At the Home Circuit Court, Fletcher said only one of the nine courts hearing matters had no disruption.

“The parishes of Hanover, St Catherine, St Mary, St James and Clarendon have all been affected,” she stated.