Six thousand (6,000) pounds sterling and many many more hours of research, comparison and compilation have culminated in the first ever Criminal Bench Book for Judicature of the Supreme Court of Jamaica.
The Book, in blue and gold, which was officially presented at the Spanish Court hotel (Valencia Room) Friday last, is intended to provide judges (and other stakeholders) with a handy reference on cases that may come before the court and previous judgements so as to reduce - but NOT eliminate -the burden of research, and help judges give better directions to juries.
The book is based on the UK Crown Court Compendium, and a team from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) worked closely with eminent retired Jamaican Justices Harrison and Smith to get it done, withe British High Commission in Kingston, led by High Commissioner David Fitton, and funding from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Both Supreme Court Chief Justice Zaila McCalla and Justice Minister Delroy Chuck praised the High Commission and the UK interest for their investment of time and money in helping to move the justice system along. The Minister also spent time speaking to other measures the Government was taking to boost judicial capacity, and brought smiles from the audience when he assured that all members of the judiciary would shortly be receiving their entitled motor vehicles.
The evening officially ended with presentations of copies to select special guests, including the Director of Public Prosecutions and the new President of the Jamaica Bar Association, and voluminous Vote of Thanks, moved by Puisne Judge Vivene Harris.