Tue | Nov 21, 2017

DPP emphasises importance of digital audio recording in the courts

Published:Wednesday | November 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn (left), Chief Justice, Zaila McCalla (centre), and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, watch a demonstration of the new video-link technology at a handover ceremony of the equipment along with others, at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston on Monday.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn has hailed the provision of digital audio-recording and video-link technology to more than 71 courts and seven hearing rooms across the island.

The DPP said the technology represents "part of the evolutionary process of what happens when the appropriate resources are put into the justice system".

"It means that the justice system operating in the 21st century is now becoming a reality," she added, following the handover of the equipment at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston on Monday.

Funding for the equipment was provided by the European Union in the sum of $232 million under the Justice, Security, Accountability and Transparency Programme.

Llewellyn said the equipment "will allow the judges who take longhand to be more efficient, and will cut the time (spent) taking notes".

"It will allow defence counsel and prosecuting counsel to be on the cutting edge and very prepared, because a lot of the cases will go a little quicker," she said.

It is estimated that there are 35,000 cases in the parish courts and 2,000 cases in the Circuit Court.

President of the Jamaican Bar Association, Jacqueline Cummings, also shared the sentiments of the DPP, noting that the equipment will help to "speed up most trials".

"At the end of the day, when the transcript is produced and handed to the attorney, they will no longer have piles and piles of paperwork to do. They can either have it in electronic form or in print," she said.