The establishment of the Judicial Education Institute of Jamaica is a welcome and timely development that recognizes the need for equipping and empowering our Judiciary and court staff to be impartial, competent, efficient and effective through continuous education and training.

The main objective of continuing judicial education and training is to develop the capacity of our judges and court staff to administer justice in a manner that ensures public trust and confidence in the Justice system.  It has long been our aspiration, consistent with international best practices, to establish an institute that would formalize and structure our education, training and sensitization programmes.

For many years, despite the absence of a formal framework for judicial training, with assistance from international, regional and local partners, our Judiciary has been engaged in conducting training and sensitization sessions to keep current with the changing times and changing demands being placed on our Courts.  The need for judicial education has become more critical with the passing of new legislation and frequent amendments to existing legislation in an effort to address new crimes and new ways of committing crimes that have become more sophisticated and complex with the advent of technology.  To this end, we have covered topics touching on Proceeds of Crime, Criminal Case Management, International Human Rights, “Lottery-Scamming”, Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities, Mediation, Trafficking in Persons, to name a few.

With legislative support for mandatory continuing legal education for attorneys-at-law now in force,  it is my belief that certain aspects of judicial education and training should be made compulsory for the judiciary and court staff.  This can now be realistically pursued and achieved through the Judicial Education Institute of Jamaica (JEIJ).