Barbados has received some financial assistance from Global Affairs Canada to improve the way business is done in the judicial sector.
In comes in the form of a $33 million Memorandum of Understanding between the judiciary of Barbados and the Justice Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) project in the Caribbean, which was signed Wednesday by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and the new project director at the Caribbean Court of Justice’s JURIST project, Dr Penny Reedie.
“It signals for me a new beginning in the sense that . . . we are continuing on a path that we have started, and what this Memorandum of Understanding does is to . . . hone our interests, so that we now know exactly where we are supposed to be going with the JURIST project,” Sir Marston said.
He further explained that the project touches several cross-cutting themes, which needed special attention.
“I know that we tend to think of the JURIST project as only involving judicial reform, but those cross-cutting themes are important . . . [such as] gender equality . . . governance . . . environmental sustainability and training.
“For our Registration Department to be the engine room of the court system that it is intended to be, we really need to have training,” he added.
Meantime, Dr Reedie said the funds would be handled by the Caribbean Court of Justice, on behalf of the Conference of Heads of Judiciary of CARICOM.
“Our aim is to modernize and strengthen court systems, processes and services, and to equip judicial officers and judicial staff with the skills and competency necessary to deliver justice in a predictable and timely manner,” she explained, adding that the ultimate goal of the project was to develop a regional justice system that was more responsive to the needs of women, men, youth and the poor.
Also addressing the signing ceremony was Michele Gibson, programme team leader for the JURIST project.
She noted that the five-year project, which is now entering its third year, sought to establish a “judicial system that is more responsive to the needs of citizens.”
Grenada, Belize and Guyana have also benefitted from the project.