Although an independent judiciary largely functions in practice in Jamaica, it operates within an overburdened system with inadequate resources.
The government has launched a three-year reform plan to modernize and improve the court system and the effectiveness of the judiciary. Legislation was enacted in 2004 to abolish appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and make the Caribbean Court of Justice Jamaica’s highest appellate authority.
The Privy Council declared this legislation unconstitutional in February 2005 on procedural grounds. New legislation was under discussion as of April 2005.
In March 2004, the Social Conflict and Legal Reform, a five-year-long initiative to foster mediation and alternative dispute resolution methods at both the institutional and community levels, came to an end. It succeeded in establishing mediation centres in several deprived areas.
Budgetary and political constraints have severely undermined the effectiveness and impartiality of the Police Public Complaints Authority (PPCA) in investigating alleged abuses by state security forces.
Jamaica-Attacks on Justice 2005-Publications-2008 (full text, PDF)Attacks on Justice 2005Publications