List of JPs grows as fifteen more sworn in

| 27/11/2012

Dan Scott (221x300).jpg(CNS): Another fifteen people were added to Cayman’s already long list of lay magistrates last week. Sworn-in on Tuesday, by Deputy Clerk of Court Cecile Collins, herself a JP, officials said the new group will strengthen the capacity of the local judicial system to provide official services to members of the public. There are now over 150 JPs in the Cayman Islands who will all be subject to mandatory training sessions. JPs are appointed under the Summary Jurisdiction Law, which regulates the operation of the summary or magistrates’ courts, including the appointment of magistrates. Although they have no legal training they have authority to preside over certain criminal cases. They also have powers to issue summonses and warrants.

Magistrates can take affidavits, administer oaths, solemn declarations and affirmations; and admit persons to bail, or remand them. They also possess general judicial and administrative powers in relation to the administration of justice. JPs may also serve, as required, in the Youth Court, or otherwise, in addition to their duties of assisting with passport applications and other documents; and assisting their communities with various initiatives – such as working to divert vulnerable or at-risk youths away from the penal justice system.

During their swearing in ceremony Attorney General Samuel Bulgin said the appointment was prestigious but not meant to be merely symbolic.
“It is meant to be an obligation to further assist your country,” he told the novice JPs, “Your appointment means that even though you have no formal legal training you have been adjudged as having the common sense, intelligence, integrity and capacity to act fairly, and prepared to give freely of your time for no material reward.
“Under no circumstances should you act in matters where you have an obvious or potential conflict of interest, whether the interest is personal, pecuniary or otherwise,” he added. 

An orientation sessionfacilitated by Magistrate Grace Donalds, who although retired has recently returned to the summary bench on contract, preceded the swearing-in and all JPs will be subject to on-going training in the future.

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