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Nov 4, 2019

CAJO Conference a Success

The sixth Biennial Conference of CAJO came to a successful conclusion on Saturday in Belize City. About one hundred and fifty members of the judiciary from the wider Caribbean took part in the three-day event. The conference of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers conference looked at a number of issues including how to build public trust in the judicial system as well as on the rights of Indigenous People, environment pollution, and the use of social media. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.


Justice Peter Jamadar, Interim Chairman, CAJO

“The conference has been an immense success. The judicial officers are very happy with the content, with their participating and with the learning that is going on in this conference. So we are extremely pleased.”


Hipolito Novelo, reporting 

Hosted under the theme “Judicial Integrity – The Pathway to Public Trust and Confidence” the conference brought together professionals from the region who participated in approximately twenty sessions on keys topics intended to better serve the public.


Justice Peter Jamadar

“The focus is on the public. What is it the judicial officers need to do, need to learn what to do that can create greater public trust and confidence in the administration of justice because that is something that we need to continue working on, addressing public concerns, responding to public need and building public trust and conference in judicial systems through the region?” 


Hipolito Novelo 

“How do judicial officers do that?”


Peter Jamadar

Justice Peter Jamadar

“Well, education is one way. So, for example, we had sessions on gender sensitivity adjudication. We’ve had sessions on vulnerable witnesses. We have had session with indigenous people by education we can inform and advise judicial offices about gaps in relations to the treatment of some of these groups in all-out societies and what we hope is that through the education process they can return to the jurisdiction, share the information and therefore be better able to meet the needs of the public.”


As part of the conference, a new executive consisting of fourteen members was appointed. Belize is represented by Senior Magistrate Patricia Arana.


Justice Peter Jamadar

“Every two years we appoint the executive. That coincides with the conference. This year we appointed a new executive and our policy is to have a representative from the entire jurisdiction which we have. We have appointed eleven people to meet the management committee constitution requirements but we have increased that to fourteen people so that we have all jurisdictions covered. So the executive is represented by all jurisdictions and that is the way when we plan and develop our program they are regionally relevant.”


Other “hot button” topics discussed at the Conference included the impact of artificial intelligence on the adjudication process and rights of indigenous persons. As a small island developing states, Belize faces similar opportunities and challenges like many of its Caribbean sister nations which require cooperation in critical areas of jurisprudence and judicial practice.


Justice Peter Jamadar

“We say if you take away one thing that can change the way you relate to court uses, to our citizens that is a success. Of course, we hope that you take away more than one thing. But one thing alone that changes the way we treat our customers makes a difference and we measure that as a success.   These kinds of educational conferences are important and I would say they are integral.   This is undoubtedly one of our most successful conferences. I think partly it has to do with Belize and I think because the Belizean people have been warm and welcoming that is something that we would always take away as a living memory of Belize.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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