Copyright (c) 1996 Saint Louis University School of Law
Saint Louis University Law Journal
LEGAL SYSTEM OF JAMAICA
40 St. Louis L.J. 1381
In this country the justice system includes the judicial and legal machinery established by law for pronouncing upon the rights and obligations of citizens. By doing so, it adheres to a frame of reference which necessitates interpreting and applying the laws passed by Parliament, as well as those inherited as part of our common law legacy. The justice system finds expression in a hierarchial court system to which, depending upon the nature and complexity of the rights or obligations to be determined, the citizens have a right of access.
A proper understanding of our justice system and how it works requires as a prerequisite some understanding of its source and of its peculiar position and relationship within the structure of our constitutional government. In other words, at the outset, one must understand the dichotomies which give the judiciary and the executive their own identities so that where the two interact as they certainly do in the justice system to create a harmonious balance, the demarcation between the two will nevertheless be identifiable.
The justice system includes judges who constitute the judiciary and whose function it is to interpret and apply the laws and to pronounce, in light of their interpretation, upon the extent to which those laws impact upon the rights and obligations of our citizens. The justice system also includes, at the highest level, the Director of Public Prosecutions who though in constitutional terms falls under the executive is nevertheless free from any direction or control ...
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