PAJ calls for immediate reversal of decision to bar media and public from observing Jolyan Silvera murder case
The Press Association of Jamaica, PAJ is calling for an immediate reversal of a judge’s decision to bar members of the media and the public from observing the Jolyan Silvera murder case.
The PAJ says there should be a reversal of the decision unless there is a compelling explanation and justification.
The PAJ states that if there is a justification the public must be informed of this.
Mr Silvera, a former parliamentarian, is charged with the murder of his wife Melissa.
He appeared in court on Thursday and was remanded until Thursday February 8.
The media was barred from entering the court.
In a statement , the PAJ says it views with alarm the judge’s decision based on the use of her “discretion.”
The Press Association says in Jamaica’s constitutional democracy the principle of “open justice” is extremely important, except in exceptional circumstances.
It states that this serves as oversight for the judiciary and helps maintain public confidence in the justice system.
The PAJ says this is a high-profile murder case involving a former Member of Parliament, who is a politically connected individual.
The group says it is critical that this case be open to public scrutiny to help maintain confidence in the justice system in general, and in the conduct of this case in particular.
According to the PAJ, no reason has been given why this case should be an exception to the open justice principle.
The association says it believes this case is a prime example of one which must be carefully scrutinised by the media and the public.