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The negative advantages of technology worries Chief Justice

Published:Thursday | September 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMMark Titus


While lauding the role technology has played in narrowing the gap between global communities, Zaila McCalla, Jamaica's chief justice, said, like the legitimate stakeholders, criminals were also using this important platform for their nefarious activities.

"Globalisation always connotes a shrinking world, where technology has placed information and contact within the reach of a vast number of us, literally in the palm of our hands," the chief justice said, while addressing last week's opening of the 4th biennial conference of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel, St James. "This shrinking of borders is vital for commerce, trade and the creation or development of international relations in a modern society."

However, the chief justice noted that because criminals have access to, and are using technology in a negative way, it has become necessary for countries to work together to develop a legal framework to keep them out.


gateway for criminals


"The same technology that closes the distance between states, gives criminals the tool to operate globally without the need to travel across country borders," said McCalla. "It is therefore necessary for states to work together in developing legal frameworks of a high standard that will enhance our abilities to address the new legal, social and other challenges that face us."

According to the chief justice, who has been occupying her position since 2007, people are now more aware of their various rights and are quite willing and ready to seek redress where they are wronged.

"Technology has also brought the law closer to our people as more litigants are willing to represent themselves as they now have ready access to information, so we have to equip ourselves to deal with these situations," she said.

The CAJO conference brings together the regions chief justices, judges, magistrates, masters, tribunal members, registrars, executive court administrators, and other judicial officers. The main presenters for the three-day event were professors Richard Drayton and Kimberly Papillon.