Corruption in Jamaica 2 of 2

The president of the bar association however takes the approach that regardless of what the client says or the public thinks unless there is a conviction in the courts, then its merely allegations which cannot be substantiated in courts and so the lawyer walks, and can return to his practice, with no sanctions.
In the other case, if the lawyer returns the client money in an out of court settlement the case is also considered closed and no wrongdoing is attached to the lawyer.

So from a purely legal standpoint given all the fact as borne out in court and subsequent acquittal of the lawyer he technically is not guilty of a crime and so cannot be punished.

Lawyers in Jamaica will continue to practice corruption in there daily transactions, particularity real estate where very large amount of funds change hands daily. They are very aware that they will be protected by their association and will walk free, based on the very poor investigative skills of the local police department.

Now consider the case of a cop who is accused (lets call it a complaint) of taking a bribe from a motorist.  Immediately upon his arrest after investigation, we hear howls of “dem too thief and corrupt” from the public and rightly so.
Each case that makes it to the public is greeted the very same way and very soon we speak about the fact that the JCF is corrupt to the core.

If we where to measure “corruption” the way the president of the bar association does for its members, we would only look at the conviction rate amongst these accused members of the force, which once again is very low.
So using the very same methodology, I can say that corruption amongst members of the force is really not that bad as only a few of those who get arrested and charged ever get convicted.

Similarly there is a lot of talk amongst Jamaicans about how our politicians are, so I ask the question how many of our politicians have ever been convicted, found guilty and sentenced to time in prison?

If there is really so much corruption in this country and everyone is aware, then why aren’t we seeing many arrest, conviction and prison sentence being handed out.
Don’t for one minute think I am not saying that Jamaica is not a corrupt country all I am saying show me the evidence that supports this claim, in terms of conviction.

Now I am sure some smart person will suggest that the reason we are not seeing more conviction is due once again due to corruption within the police force as I have never  heard anyone accused the judiciary of being corrupt.

So we are right back at square one, in that the persons who are charged with going out and investigate, arrest, built a case and get a conviction are themselves corrupt, thus allowing the perpetrator to walk free everytime.

We do not necessarily see ourselves as corrupt but lets ask the following question:

1. How many times have the police stopped you for a traffic violation, which you were really guilt of and you have sought to avoid getting a ticket for which you are deserving? Are you corrupt or is it the cop that is corrupt if you find a way to convince him not to write you a ticket?
2. Have you been a sticky situation involving the police, and you call the “supe” or the “inspector” to sort things out.  Who is corrupt, you or the cop.
3. Have you ever entered the “Nothing to declare” line even though your luggage is stuffed with items for which you should pay duty. Is that corruption or are you just beating the system after all every body does it so ” a nuh nuttin, d big man dem do it to”.
4. Have you every been to the tax office and refused to join the long line, and simply seek out someone you know, then give them ” a money to sort things out for you”. Is that a form of corruption or not?
5. Do you pay income tax on earnings that you receive that is not a part of the PAYE system? Is that corruption or not?

You see, these things above though we consciously make a decision to so them, we do not consider them as being corrupt activities, on the contrary we boast how skillful we are in avoiding the ticket or evading customs.

What therefore gives us the moral authority to decide who is corrupt and who is not?

Many will say they don’t mind paying, if they could see the benefits of paying. They are not at this time prepared to pay over money to a corrupt set of people who will use it to enhance their own economic well being Vs being used for economic development of the country.

So what’s the end game?


Corruption in Jamaica – Part 1 of 2

Jamaican’s consider corruption to be the biggest problem, which is preventing the country from making any progress, but what really is corruption and is it really as big a problem as people are make it out to be.
Is it a perception Vs being a reality?
Is corruption really on the rise in Jamaica or it just media hype?

If were to ask any Jamaica today the question ” Do you believe Jamaica is corrupt”?  I am sure the majority would say yes. If I ask the follow up question ” Are you involved in corrupt activities”, the answer from the majority would be no.

So where is all this corruption taking place and who are the persons involved?

Therein lies the real problem, that is we believe that “them people deh corrupt” and or involved in corrupt activities but no sir, not me.
We start changing the face of corruption when we start making our own variations and interpretation of what corruption is, so that it make our activities more palatable.

A few weeks ago after being shown very startling statistics which indicated that there was a significant increase in the number of complaints against lawyers which was a staggering 547, Mrs.  Samuels sought to suggest, that a complaint is just that i.e. a complaint.
She went on to say that one should not simply look at the complaint when trying to make a case that lawyers are getting more corrupt, but instead one should look at the conviction rate amongst lawyers.

In Mrs. Samuels legal mind, she seems to suggest that without a conviction in the courts or if there a cessation in legal proceedings against a lawyer by virtue of an out of court settlement then one cannot make a case for corruption on the rise in the legal profession.
In other words once the case has ended without the lawyer being convicted then in effect there is no basis for one to suggest increased cases of corruption amongst lawyers, which in a straight legal sense may be correct.

So lets us examine what would cause a client to file a complaint against his or her lawyer, and then lets examine which lawyers are the one who against most complaints have be filed.

A client (based on the cases we seen) typically files a complaint against his or her lawyer, when the client does not believe that his or her interests is being properly represented by the lawyer, which is reasonable.
If we were to however look at the cases that have been made public, we will find that most of these cases involve money and in almost every case, it’s one involving real estate.

In these cases, lawyers have either held unto the proceeds of the sale and not pass it unto the client or have been given funds to make an acquisition, which was neither completed or the money handed back to the client.
So these cases for the most part have involved money and misappropriation or fraudulent conversion of such funds.

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