At least one justice of the peace (JP) who has been allegedly engaged in the practice of collecting monies in exchange for certifying documents, has resigned, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has said.
Chuck made the disclosure at the commissioning of JPs in St James at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Thursday.
In pointing to a recent newspaper article that uncovered instances of JPs collecting monies for their services, Chuck commended JPs in St James and other parishes “who stood their ground” and did not engage in the unacceptable practice, which is a breach of the JP code of conduct under which they are governed.
According to the minister, approximately five individuals “blemished the image of (the) justice of the peace” in the undercover probe by the media entity.
“I am happy to report that one of them has already handed in his resignation and his seal,” said Chuck,
“We expect the others in short order to hand in their resignations and their seals, because even though we are not sure who you are as yet, we are likely to find you,” he added.
Chuck urged the JPs who were exposed by the media probe, and found to be acting inappropriately, to hand in their seals and their resignations to their respective parish custodes.
Delroy Chuck (file photo)
“This is a noble vocation,” he said of the office of the JP.
“It must not be abused! We expect JPs who have been commissioned to act in the highest tradition…, because without you, the JPs across Jamaica sending the right signal of justice, decency, of civility, then who are we to look towards for example?”
An earlier release on Thursday from the Ministry of Justice disclosed that since 2010, some 14 JPs have been decommissioned due to misconduct.
The ministry urged Jamaicans to discontinue the practice of paying JPs for their services, and encouraged them to instead, report them to the offices of the custos in their parishes, or call the ministry at 888- JUSTICE (587-8423).
Meanwhile, Chuck on Thursday encouraged the newly commissioned JPs in St James to ensure that their communities can look up to them in the areas of leadership, guidance and information over the years to come.
“You will have to assist the Ministry of Justice in ensuring justice across every single community.
“… And when we ensure that the ordinary man and woman in every single community can get justice, then that is how we can secure peace, because without justice, there can be no peace,” declared Chuck.