A Family Court is to be established in St. Thomas. Three other Family Courts will also be established in St. Ann; Spanish Town, St. Catherine; and Portmore, St. Catherine. This exercise is being done as a part of the Government’s focus on increasing access to legal and judicial services for citizens’.

The disclosure was made by Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, during an interview with JIS News at the opening ceremony of the 11th annual Restorative Justice Conference at the AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston on Friday, February 7.

The Family Court established in St. Thomas will handle legal proceedings relating to family life (with the exception of divorces). Matters that will be handled include: adoptions; childcare and protection; custody and testamentary guardianship of children; declaration of paternity – live (DNA) and deceased; domestic violence; maintenance; property rights of spouses; and youth delinquency.

The establishment of the new courts is among the conditions that must be satisfied for funding support from the European Union. The funding support totals approximately $200 million.