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Jun 29, 2016

Judiciary Participates in Reform Project

Kenneth Benjamin

This morning, the courts took a break from court proceedings and instead the judiciary participated in the JURIST project which is the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening Project.  A cross-section of stakeholders also participated in the two-day workshop. Funded by the Canadian Government, JURIST is being implemented in the region to improve the administration of the courts as well as for the efficient and fair resolution of cases. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin spoke at the opening ceremony.

 

Kenneth Benjamin, Chief Justice of Belize

“The jurist project is aimed at improving the justice sector and that is by mounting projects on the regional basis to reform and strengthen the capacity of the judiciary in the courts. To provide enhanced access to justice to citizens and to resolves cases efficiently against the background of fairness. Now over the past two years the project have been afoot and has worked alongside judiciaries in the Caribbean including Belize to support initiatives to the initiatives to improve judicial administration and streamline the judicial process. This jurist project as I said is funded through Global Affairs Canada and it is to the tune of nineteen point four million Canadian dollars. This will be complimented by in kind contributions from the Creative Court of Justice to the tune of one point four, four million Canadian dollars and by other collaborating partners including Belize to the tune of two point eight, eight million Canadian dollars. As you can it is a project that is heavily funded. A proposal was made to the government of Canada and that has given rise to their jurist project as well as to a sister in which we called IMPACT, that is Improved Access to Justice and that sister project is being administered by the University of the West Indies, I think some of you may have attended the conference not long ago that death with indigenous people and that was an Impact project. Now the implementing vehicle is the CCJ and they act on behalf of the conference of heads of judiciary. Thus far we in Belize have benefited from the jurist project; just to mention two main initiatives, in April last year when the Caribbean Court of Justice was here they mounted a judicial education program for all judicial officers, judges of the court of appeal, supreme court and all magistrates and we address topical issues such as how do you deal with unrepresented litigant, judicial ethics and we also dealt with the subject which is very topical of court technology.”

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