The Justice Sector Reform Strategy will pave the way for strengthened linkages between judicial institutions.
This newspaper understands that the reform strategy focuses on strengthening systems and linkages between the institutions in the justice sector, with a view to providing “joined up” justice.
“In the civil justice system, for example, even if the courts are working well in delivering judgements in a timely and efficient manner, for the user, justice is only delivered once that judgement is enforced,” the document states.
The approach is to strengthen linkages between justice institutions from the “top, down” and from the “bottom, up”.
Kaieteur News understands that interventions will be concerned with sector-wide policy, planning and resource allocation.
This approach acknowledges that policy decisions affecting one institution in the sector have a rippling effect on others.
An example is the impact that the functioning of the criminal justice system as a whole has on the Guyana Prison Service.
Some 30 percent of the prison population is on remand, awaiting trial. Efforts to clear the backlog of criminal cases will have an impact on the prison population, as will initiatives to encourage alternative sentences to imprisonment.
The approach to delivering joined up policy making, planning and resource allocation will include introducing sector-wide policy leadership; developing change management teams and change management methodology coordinated across the sector; instigating cooperative joined-up processes, such as outcome-orientated sectoral budget submissions to the Ministry of Finance on the basis of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy’s performance indicators; and Developing a sector-wide monitoring and evaluation framework.
Additionally, there is scope for enhanced communication, coordination and cooperation between the institutions in the justice sector at the operational/local level.
This includes improving coordination between the Police, Magistrates and Prison Service, to ensure that cases are ready for trial before they are listed, and that all necessary parties are present.
Also, it would allow for better sharing of resources, such as Police boats, to assist magistrates in accessing remote courts; coordination between judicial officers, the Mediation Centre, attorneys and users to ensure understanding of mediation and full preparation for each case.
The reform strategy states that international experience suggests that a procedure known as process mapping can be a key tool in delivering enhanced performance through a “joined up” approach to justice delivery.
This entails the detailed mapping of justice end-to-end processes, leading to the elimination of wasteful procedures and the design of efficient and effective connected processes.
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