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Caribbean project launches online judicial education

Caribbean project launches online judicial education

July 12, 2023 -- Judges and judicial officers in Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago can now access online training through the new JUSTconnect platform. Managed by NCSC, JUSTconnect is a project of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs funded Caribbean Anti-Crime Program.

This regional approach to judicial education will facilitate greater connectivity and knowledge sharing between judges and judicial officers. The inaugural partnership with the judiciaries of Barbados, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago represents months of coordination on content development and strategy.

Previously, judicial education in the region had been inconsistent, ad hoc, and overdependent on donors. Recognizing the need for more accessible, robust training and educational opportunities while leveraging technological advances, JUSTconnect was launched in May.

“Sharing and collaboration are what makes JUSTconnect a valuable tool in combating issues like money laundering and other financial crimes, case management, and weapon, drug, and human trafficking; thus, increasing regional security,” said NCSC project director JoAnne Richardson.  “This initiative will improve the administration of justice by building the capacity of national judicial education institutes to deliver high-quality training and share best practices.”

For the past five years, NCSC has worked with the judiciaries of the Caribbean to administer the Caribbean Anti-Crime Program under a $12.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of State. Countries impacted include Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Other aspects of the program have included digital court reporting training, and the development and review of an updated court case management system.

“The need for well-educated judges and magistrates, trained in evolving laws and procedures, is germane to an efficient and effective justice system. JUSTconnect promotes increased participation in judicial education courses that will ultimately improve the delivery of justice in the Caribbean,” Richardson said.

Pictured above (from left):  The Honourable Justice Gillian Lucky, J.A. – Chairman, The Judicial Education Institute of Trinidad and Tobago; The Honourable Sir Justice Patterson Cheltenham, K.A.; The Honourable Mme Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, O.R., C.C.H.; Her Excellency Candace A. Bond; The Honourable Chief Justice Mr. Justice Ivor Archie, O.R.T.T.;  Jeff Apperson, NCSC Vice President of International Programs.

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