Governor-General calls on JPs to adhere to ‘right principles’

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, speaks at a swearing-in ceremony for 37 new Justices of the Peace (JPs) for Hanover, at the Grand Palladium Resort and Spa in the parish on Thursday, October 3. (Photo: JIS)

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has charged 37 newly appointed Justices of the Peace (JPs) for Hanover to adhere to the principles and code of conduct that govern the office.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, held at the Grand Palladium Resort and Spa in Hanover on Thursday, October 3, the Governor-General called on the JPs to be ethical in the execution of their duties and avoid actions that bring the office into disrepute.

He also cautioned the JPs against accepting payment for authenticating documents.

“You are being commissioned to function in a high, ethical and professional standard.  Today, you are committing to work pro bono in your community,” Sir Allen began.

“We have heard of instances where the JPs charge for their services and, unfortunately, in some instances their commission has to be revoked. So, I know that one of the things that you would have been told is that you cannot charge for your service,” the Governor-General added.

He also called on the JPs to work to strengthen the social fabric of their communities and, by extension, the parish of Hanover.

The Governor-General commended the JPs for stepping forward to offer voluntary service, noting that the public expects nothing less than being served by persons of impeccable character.

“I feel confident that you will live up to your expectations and the expectation that the Custos [and citizens of Hanover] have of you,” the Governor-General said.

For her part, Superintendent of Police for Hanover, Sharon Beeput, commended the JPs for “the willing service they provide” and for supporting members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in the execution of their duties.

“We are grateful for your service, such as sitting in our petty session courts, signing bail bonds and warrants, visiting our cells, and the daily support you give to the men and women under my command,” she said.