The Minister of Justice, the Honourable Delroy Chuck, says he knows there are currently many corrupt practices being employed which seek to pervert the course of justice in Jamaica and, as a result, eradicating corruption in the justice system and Jamaica is at the top of his agenda and that of this administration.
Speaking to members of staff of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption during an official visit on Friday September 2, 2011, the Justice Minister said he wanted Jamaica to be in the top 20 of the Worldwide Corruption Perceptions ranking of countries (published by Transparency International).Currently, Jamaica is at number 87 out of 182 countries.
The Minister addressed a number of issues including, corruption in the justice system, shady contractual dealings involving public officials and how the Special Prosecutor legislation will address some of these issues.
Making reference to his time in private practice, Mr. Chuck said he was fully aware of the corrupt means used to pervert the course of justice in Jamaica.
“I know that persons in the court system are being paid to hide and or destroy files. One of the major complaints of one particular Department in this Ministry is the inability to find files once they are sent to the courts…There is a conspiracy going on where persons in the justice system are being paid to hide files, so when the case comes up, the judge can’t start the case and so it goes nowhere.”
“I have seen it in the court system, where persons pay off the police to say they can’t find the witness and pay for documents to be destroyed. That is the level of corruption in the justice system,” he said.
Additionally, the Justice Minister chided shady contractors and public officials who benefit from their corrupt practices. This aspect of corruption among others, he said, is what the Corruption Prevention (Special Prosecutor) Act is being crafted to address.
“We are determined to eliminate corruption in this country; the challenge is a great one because people who benefit from corruption will go to great lengths to protect their way of doing things. But we are determined to stamp out corruption where ever it exists as these practices; only work to destroy the economy and the social fabric of the Jamaican society,” the Minister emphasized.