The Government of Canada funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project in collaboration with the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project are collaborating to study barriers to access to justice for persons with disabilities in the region.
The IMPACT Justice Project is administered from within the Caribbean Law Institute Centre of The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and has as its ultimate goal the enhancement of access to justice for women, men, youth and businesses in CARICOM. The JURIST Project is administered from the Caribbean Court of Justice and has as its ultimate goal the establishment of a judicial system that is more responsive to the needs of women, men, youth and the poor.
This initiative found its genesis in regional stakeholder consultations held in February, 2020 where the ability of persons with disabilities to access justice in the Caribbean were raised. The challenges they face range from physical barriers such as a lack of wheelchair accessibility, to disability insensitivity and inflexible systems.
The projects have distributed a questionnaire to various ministries and NGOs who work with people with disabilities throughout the Caribbean. The questionnaire was designed to provide the projects with much of the information they would need to undertake a thorough analysis of how persons with disabilities interact with the justice system and how they are treated during those interactions.
Following the data collection, the projects will establish a regional committee to discuss the information collected and make suggestions for improvements and reform. At the end of this initiative, a comprehensive report with suggestions for improvement will be presented to the relevant authorities throughout the region for use in making the justice sector more accessible for persons with disabilities.