Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: Jamaica's Duty to Deliver Timely Reserved Judgments and Written Reasons for Judgment
44 Syracuse J. Int’l L. and Commerce 1 (2016)
61 Pages Posted: 18 May 2017
Date Written: November 25, 2016
Like many other Commonwealth common-law countries throughout the world, Jamaica is faced with the problem of excessively delayed reserved judgments and written reasons for judgment, some of which have been outstanding for more than ten years. Jamaica has been chided by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and by the United Nations Human Rights Committee for denying justice to litigants by failing to deliver written reasons for judgment within a reasonable time. In Jamaica, as elsewhere, a delay in delivering reserved judgment and written reasons for judgment means that justice is delayed and justice delayed is justice denied. The delay harms litigants and poses significant threats to the country as it signals an inefficient judiciary. An inefficient judiciary weakens democratic governance and discourages international investment. The Jamaica Bar Association, (“JamBar”) has asked Jamaica’s Chief Justice to address the problem of delayed reserved judgments and written reasons for judgment and has offered several solutions but, to date, the problem persists. This Article examines Jamaica’s problem of delayed reserved judgments and written reasons for judgment. It also evaluates JamBar’s proposed solutions, as well as strategies used by several other Commonwealth countries that have dealt with, or are dealing with, the problem of delayed reserved judgments and written reasons for judgment and recommends a sustainable solution to this long-standing problem.
Keywords: Justice Delayed, Justice Denied, Judicial Opinion, Delay Judgment, Delayed Judgment, Fair Trial, Reserved Judgment, Reasons for Judgment, Jamaica Judicial System, Judicial Overload
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