JURIST Project highlights
The Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project is a multi-year (2014-2023) regional Caribbean judicial reform initiative funded under an arrangement with the Government of Canada. The Project is being implemented on behalf of Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Conference of Heads of Judiciary of CARICOM (the Conference), by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which was appointed by the Conference as its Regional Executing Agency (REA).
The JURIST Project commenced activities on April 1, 2014 after the signing of a Contribution Arrangement between the CCJ and GAC. The Government of Canada is providing CAD19,400,000.00 while the CCJ as the executing agency and other regional partners will contribute CAD1,441,689.00 and CAD2,883,327.00 respectively.
The Project is working with judiciaries in the region to support their own efforts to improve court administration and strengthen the ability of the courts and the judiciary to resolve cases efficiently and fairly. The Project is being implemented in at least six countries and will be expanded to include other territories in the region.
The Project is also building the capacity of regional trial and appellate courts, including the CCJ, to facilitate the deepening of economic integration and improve court governance, case flow management and the timeliness of case disposition. The enhancement of fair and efficient case disposition will improve the quality of justice delivery, inspire public confidence in the justice system, foster gender equality throughout the courts and make the region more attractive to foreign and domestic investment.
The deepening of regional integration requires among other things, a court system which can provide predictability in terms of the resolution of disputes, timeliness in case disposition and high quality court administration. It also requires a court system which can play its part in enhancing stability in the region by addressing hindrances to economic development.
The modernizing of the justice system is critical and was indicated as a necessary objective by many judiciaries around the region. This will ensure that matters are disposed of quickly, efficiently and with fairness to all parties. The development of a network of commercial courts will also support economic development. The Project also acknowledges that for judicial reform to be successful, judiciaries must not only play a key role, but also drive the effort.
Judiciaries within CARICOM continue to engage in court reforms and to adopt best practices in various areas across sectors of the judiciary. The Project is designed to bolster the judiciaries’ own initiatives and to provide resources so that they can be achieved in a shorter time span.
It is in direct response to this strong region-wide consensus that the JURIST Project was born. The Project is undertaking reform processes that will address regionally identified priorities and the Conference will have a key steering, supervising and facilitating role in the reforms.