Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation - Social Order Component in Jamaica

  • June 11, 2019

Over the course of the next 9-to-10 months, the Canadian Bar Association will work with bar associations and civil society groups in Jamaica to help citizens, civil society representatives and legal professionals participate more fully in the justice reform process.

The Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation Program is a justice-sector reform initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada and implemented by Jamaica’s Ministry of Justice with support from Canada’s Justice Department and the United Nations Development Program. The Canadian Justice Department is responsible for the technical assistance component of the program, while the CBA shares responsibility for implementation of the social order component.

In May, a delegation from CBA International Initiatives went on a 10-day working visit to Kingston, Jamaica, to facilitate discussions and workshops with project partners.

The JUST Program’s multi-sectoral approach focuses on providing enhanced technical-legal assistance, institutional strengthening and social-order capacity-building to actors within the justice sector, on behalf of the poorest and most marginalized Jamaicans.

Canada, and the CBA, have a long history in this area. The government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada (formerly the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, or DFATD) has been involved in various sectors of activity in Jamaica for many years. In the field of justice, it has funded initiatives including the development of a Jamaica Justice System Reform Policy Framework, which sets five-year targets for implementing strategic justice reform measures. CBA members formed part of the project team for the JJSR task force and co-authored the report, whose recommendations continue to provide a reference point for the Jamaican government’s justice reform plans and policies. The results of those and other initiatives over the years became the nucleus of what would eventually emerge as the JUST program.

Sarah MacKenzie and Ayo Ogundipe facilitate a civic dialogue workshop with stakeholders representing Jamaican civil society organisations and Bar associations

Aviva Rotenberg assesses Continuing Legal Professional Development courses offered by the Jamaican Bar Association 

Aviva Rotenberg and Ayo Ogundipe at a meeting with Jamaican Bar Association executives and attorneys