As the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project collaborative workshop got underway yesterday, Hon. Sir Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados, in delivering his brief remarks noted that the judicial system will be charting a new way forward.
Hon. Gibson started by welcoming everyone to the collaborative workshop which addressed stakeholders of judicial system. In welcoming everyone, Gibson apologized that such meetings did not occur more often and announced that there is a need for more. Given this – lack of meetings, Gibson expressed his gratitude to the JURIST Project for facilitating a meeting that brings all the stakeholders together.
The Chief Justice went on to say that there is a tendency to believe that the justice sector only means judges and magistrates, however, not much can be done without the Probation Department, the Prison, and the Police among others. The workshop, he continued to say, would be a wonderful opportunity for all stakeholders to make the system as efficient as it can be.
In wishing his colleagues a productive collaborative workshop, Hon. Gibson added that he hopes that they will come up with concrete ideas for the way forward that may be put in their 3rd year work plan. With regards to the JURIST Project in Barbados, the Chief Justice admitted that it has somewhat taken a hiatus in carrying out the project but warned that it is only brief. He assured that the project is not dead but only needs clear direction to get back on course.
The JURIST Project, a five year regional Caribbean reform initiative, is working with judiciaries in the region to support their own efforts to improve court administration and strengthen the ability of the courts and the judiciary to resolve cases efficiently and fairly. It is also aimed at building the capacity of regional trial and appellate courts, including the CCJ, to facilitate the deepening of economic integration and improve court governance, case flow management and the timeliness of case disposition.
In essence, the project seeks to establish a judicial system that is more responsive to the needs of women, men, youths and business.