Behave yourself, or else
Chuck warns new St Ann JPs not to bring office into disreputeSaturday, July 17, 2021
By AKERA DAVIS
OCHO RIOS, St Ann — Bemoaning the too-frequent cases of justices of the peace displaying unsavoury behaviour, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has warned 43 newly-appointed JPs in St Ann that he will not hesitate to act if they do not live up to expectations.
“I want to thank you... for volunteering to offer your service. But I also want to warn you that if you don't live up to the qualities expected and [effectively] perform the service of the commission and seal, it will be taken,” the minister said during a commissioning ceremony for the JPs on Thursday. “Far too many JPs feel that because they have been installed they can retreat back to their old ways and forget everything.”
Last month the Jamaica Observer highlighted the pervasive practice of some JPs charging for services that should be voluntary. In the article, some custodes hit out at the practice, labelling it as corrupt and rogue. The point was also made that in failing to properly execute their duties, JPs may do far-reaching damage. A JP's notarisation of a false document, for example, may help an applicant set up a false identity.
Pointing to the climate of crime in the country, Minister Chuck urged the new servants of the Government to be an active part of the fight towards a more peaceful society.
“I demand that you set the example of what good character should be in your community. Be that shining light [so] that others may see it and want to make a change,” he said. “Make the journey be [as] consistent and decent as possible. Ensure that our children are properly cared for and protected and that your spaces, overall, are peaceful. You have the duty to protect your region.”
“There are far too many justices of the peace across Jamaica who are bringing the occupation into disrepute. I urge each one of you to work to improve your community to make it the type of community you want to live in. [You need to] ensure that your contribution will be exponential,” Chuck added
Custos of St Ann Norma Walters also implored the newly commissioned JPs to apply themselves to their duties with dignity.
“We look forward to you adding a [collective] impact and I have no doubt that you will do this to the best of your ability. This is not a job, but a calling,” she said.
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