Submissions to Parliament
From the outset of its existence, JFJ realised that for the organisation to make an impact to influence fundamental change, advocacy work needed to be undertaken at the policy and legislative levels. JFJ felt that civil society needed to be involved in the governance of the country, especially with regard to legislation that affected the rights of the citizenry. In order to exercise this right to participatory governance, JFJ has been providing submissions in response to bills tabled in Parliament so as to improve the quality of legislation being put forward to protect citizens’ rights.
JFJ works with change agents at all levels of the society to help bring about positive changes in state mechanisms, especially in the justice system. This includes holding consultative meetings with decision-making stakeholders who can help drive the reform process. These include leaders in law enforcement, the legal and judicial fraternities, Parliament and the private sector. Increasing transparency and accountability are also integral to our efforts.
Public forums are hosted biannually as part of JFJ’s education, policy and advocacy efforts. The forums, which are free and open to the citizenry, facilitate extensive consultation between decision-makers and the public on issues that affect the rights of the most vulnerable in society with the hope that justice system reforms and improvements can be achieved.
To support JFJ’s lobbying efforts, a quarterly electronic newsletter or brief entitled ‘Reform Matters’ is produced. It raises awareness about current justice issues in Jamaica so as to provoke thought and effect change. ‘Reform Matters’ is distributed to key industry and public sector decision-makers throughout the society.
The justice report is produced annually to complement the organisation’s advocacy efforts. It details current cases, issues and outcomes mainly in the judiciary and law enforcement sectors, and provides analyses and recommendations for reform. The justice report is launched publicly and distributed to the relevant stakeholders.
Press Conferences, Public Protests and Press Releases
In order to bolster the work of the organisation to effect positive changes in state mechanisms, lobbying is also carried out via press conferences, the staging of legal and peaceful public protests and the issuing of statements mainly through press releases. Interviews are also facilitated with various media houses.