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Indiana Corn Legislative Agenda Announced

first_imgHome Indiana Agriculture News Indiana Corn Legislative Agenda Announced By Andy Eubank – Dec 21, 2015 Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter SHARE SHARE Directors of the Indiana Corn Growers Association have laid out a 2016 state legislative agenda focused on local road funding, property tax reform, and tax fairness for E85 fuel. The ICGA Board approved the priorities this week ahead of the January start to the legislative session.Farmers are calling on the General Assembly to increase funding for local roads and bridges.“All across our state, local roads and bridges are crumbling,” said ICGA President Mike Nichols, a farmer from Spencer County. “The legislature needs to step up and improve the condition of local roads to help us move equipment, crops, livestock, and inputs to and from our farms.”Numerous proposals have been revealed ahead of the spring legislative session. While Corn Growers aren’t taking a position on any specific proposals yet, they are clear that local roads and bridges must be a priority.“The state can’t be solely focused on highways, cities, and towns,” said Nichols. “Roads benefit our entire economy, and farmers are focused on improving local infrastructure.”Corn farmers have also outlined a reform of the state’s farmland property tax formula as a 2016 priority. Rates have been driven up by over 33 percent in the past five years, and farmers are seeing increasing property tax bills while net farm income has fallen precipitously.“The formula for property taxes on farmland does not take real-world conditions into account,” said ICGA Vice President Sarah Delbecq, a farmer from DeKalb County. “We need a formula that accurately values farmland while not forcing drastic cuts to struggling local school districts.”Farmers have also made priorities relating to biofuels. ICGA supports a use tax change on E85 fuel that taxes the fuel more fairly and strengthens misfueling liability for retailers selling mid-level ethanol blends.To read all of ICGA’s public policy positions, visit www.incorn.org/icga.Source: ICGA Indiana Corn Legislative Agenda Announced Previous articleReport: Renewables Fastest Growing US Power SourceNext articleA Christmas Gift from Congress to American Farmers Andy Eubanklast_img read more

 

Conflict escalation

first_imgIn a dramatic and unexpected act of aggression, Russia launched deadly airstrikes in Syria Wednesday against sites that Pentagon officials say target rebel groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, not the Islamic State, as Russia maintains.The incursion comes just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin caught many off-guard by announcing a new arrangement with Iraq, Iran, and Syria to share information in the fight against the Islamic State during the United Nations General Assembly. Russia’s entry into the Syrian civil war adds an unwanted layer of complexity for the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State and more broadly for American hegemony in the Middle East.Retired Brigadier Gen. Kevin Ryan is the director of the Defense and Intelligence Project for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. A career military officer, Ryan served as senior regional director for Slavic states in the Secretary of Defense’s office, defense attaché to Russia, and as chief of staff for the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command. Most recently, from 2003 to 2005, he oversaw the Army’s strategic war plans, policy, and international affairs. The Gazette spoke with Ryan about Russia’s move into Syria, how the United States is likely to react, and how this development will affect U.S.-Russia relations.GAZETTE: Why is Putin suddenly moving aggressively into this region, and why now?RYAN: The immediate reason, I believe, that President Putin has deployed additional military assets into Syria is because he and his experts assessed that the Assad regime was about to fall and they want to avoid that. Now, why do they want to keep the Assad regime from falling? It’s because they see the Muslim extremist threat, and specifically they see that as a Sunni extremist threat, as dangerous to the security of Russia. All of the Muslim extremist threats that exist in Russia’s southern tier — the Caucasus and throughout Central Asia — are Sunni-based, not Shia. We know that Sunni Muslim extremists living in Russia have gone down to fight in Syria as part of a global jihad effort. The Russians are concerned that after Syria falls, these jihadists will return to Russia to restart the war there.GAZETTE: Is that a valid concern?RYAN: Yes, absolutely. The conflict between Muslim populations and the Russian Orthodox population is an historical one. It goes back over 100 years, for sure. And it flares up from time to time. This is the most recent flare-up.GAZETTE: Russia maintains that these airstrikes are targeting Islamic State terrorists, yet Pentagon officials and others say the sites being bombed are areas associated with rival Syrian rebel groups who also oppose Bashar al-Assad, a regime Putin has supported militarily in the past.RYAN: What appears to be going on is that the Russian military, with these first airstrikes, is attacking rebels who oppose the Assad regime or threaten the regime with collapse. I do not think that the Russians care whether they swear allegiance to ISIS or to al-Nusra or al-Qaida or whatever.GAZETTE: Why publicly make the distinction then?RYAN: Either they intend to do that and just made a mistake in their bombing yesterday, or they really don’t see a difference between ISIS and the rebel groups.GAZETTE: Does anything suggest to you yet what kind of campaign Russia will pursue and for how long?RYAN: Putin said today [Thursday] on TV to his people that Russia’s military operation there will consist of air support, air campaign only, and not ground troops. He has also said he’s there to support the government of Syria — the Assad regime — so that’s an open-ended commitment, I think, until such time as they can help find a political resolution to the fighting there. I don’t think that means that they’ll be there until Assad dies. I think they could see a future in which Assad steps down, but the regime remains.GAZETTE: Doesn’t Russia’s presence greatly complicate U.S.-led efforts to push Assad out and defeat the Islamic State and other extremist groups in the region?RYAN: I don’t think it could get any more problematic than it was before they showed up. I think it complicates things, but if the United States wants to work at this, we can probably find a way to leverage the Russian participation to our benefit. But if we can’t, if the Russians refuse to be helpful in this and go their own way, then I think we can work around it.GAZETTE: How should the U.S. respond?RYAN: I don’t know how the U.S. is going to respond in the long run because I’m not sure what the dimensions are of the Russian commitment. I think the U.S. has responded appropriately so far. We have agreed to “deconflict” military operations so that pilots won’t be crashing into each other, but it remains to be seen whether Russia is going to do what it says it wants to do — which is bomb ISIS rebels — or whether they’re going to indiscriminately bomb any opposition forces to the regime.GAZETTE: What does it tell us that the U.S. appears to have been blindsided first by Putin’s remarks at the United Nations earlier this week about the “coalition” with Iran, Iraq, and Syria, and then these bombings? Is this a major intelligence failure?RYAN: No, I don’t think it’s an intelligence failure at all. Russia has had, in the past, a very robust intelligence relationship with the Iraqi government under Saddam [Hussein]. I don’t know what their intelligence relationship is today, but it appears they’re trying to restart it with the current government now. Every government has the right to establish an intelligence relationship with another government. We have our own. Now, it probably should make us reassess our intelligence relationship with Iraq, because we don’t want to be sharing things with Iraq that are then going to be shared with Russia unless we intend that to be the case.I’ve read the reports and let’s assume that they’re accurate, that a Russian general officer visited the U.S. embassy an hour before the bombings began and gave us a heads-up. First of all, that’s not good enough coordination. But this is the first time and the U.S. and Russia only just days ago agreed to even discuss coordination, so I think we’ll hopefully improve on that going forward. That’s something to build on, let’s say. That’d be an optimistic way of describing it.GAZETTE: Did the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Ukraine — and the lack of pushback from the EU, the U.S., and others — embolden Putin to move into the Middle East?RYAN: No, I don’t think so because I disagree with the premise. I don’t think there’s a lack of response from the United States and the EU. I think there was a very robust response to Crimea and Eastern Ukraine and there continues to be. There are sanctions and the U.S. and the EU are supporting Ukraine in a number of ways. We’ve beefed up presence in the Baltic region to prevent any similar kinds of things happening to NATO countries. So in that regard, I think our response has been pretty good.Putin has been emboldened to move into Syria by a couple of other things. Number one is that through many years of continued investment and reform, his military is now qualitatively better than it was, say, a decade ago. So that emboldens Putin and his military leadership. And number two, as I said before, I think he was encouraged to act because he saw the impending fall of the Assad regime and he felt that if he did not take an action now, the whole regime would collapse.I see a real close analogy with the war in Kosovo back at the end of the 1990s. In that case, as the war in Kosovo was winding down and it was clear that the Serbs were going to lose that war, Russia had sent a contingent of its military force, which was already in Bosnia, and he sent them across the boundary and into Kosovo and they went to the capital of Kosovo, Pristina, and they occupied the airfield. And then they attempted to fly in support and troops and other equipment into the airfield, but they were prevented from doing that because countries like Bulgaria refused to provide over-flight rights. Russia did this because they wanted to have a voice in what was going to happen to the Serb population there and they wanted to have a voice in what was going to happen in Kosovo because they felt that NATO had overstepped its bounds.As it turns out, they got to do some things in Kosovo, but in the end, it was too little, too late, and they didn’t really have any say in what happened in Kosovo. I don’t think they want to let that happen again with regard to Syria, so Putin decided to act more forcefully and sooner in Syria than they had done in Kosovo because they want to be able to shape the outcome.GAZETTE: Is this the beginning of a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia?RYAN: I don’t think so, in this case. It’s about Russia’s own security against Sunni Muslim extremists and it just happens to be happening in Syria. Because they had a commitment there, they have a base there in Tartus, and Putin has said this publicly and it’s true: that a lot of their extremists are fighting down there in that war. Some of them are on ISIS’ rolls and others are fighting with other groups.GAZETTE: What does this action portend for U.S.-Russia relations? Are we entering a dangerous new phase?RYAN: I think we entered a dangerous new phase in relations when Russia invaded and took over Crimea and began its operations in eastern Ukraine. Syria is an important issue; it’s a problem, but I don’t see that as more dangerous than what’s going on in Europe. I still believe that the situation in Europe is ultimately more dangerous to the United States than the situation in Syria — what’s already been done [in] Crimea, what’s happening [in] Ukraine, and what might happen [in the] Baltics. Altogether, it’s a very dangerous situation and both countries seem to have hard positions staked out in opposition to each other, so it does not appear that it will be easy to resolve these conflicts and these differences in Europe and the Middle East.This interview has been edited for length and clarity.last_img read more

 

Brentford v Ipswich: match preview, team news, facts and figures

first_imgLasse Vibe scored twice in Brentford’s 3-1 win at Ipswich in AprilKick-off: 3pm, Saturday 13 August 2016Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)Vital statistic: Brentford have conceded at least two goals in their last three home matches against Ipswich in all competitions.Injuries and suspensionsBRENTFORDRuled out: Alan Judge (broken leg), Alan McCormack (heel), Andreas Bjelland (muscular), Lasse Vibe (international duty).IPSWICH TOWNRuled out: Brett Pitman (thigh), Luke Hyam (knee), Giles Coke (knee). Possible line-upsBrentford: Bentley; Clarke, Egan, Dean, Elder; Yennaris, Woods; Saunders, Sawyers, Macleod; Hogan.Subs from: Bonham, Colin, Holldack, Barbet, Field, Clayton, McEachran, Ledesma, Cole, Kerschbaumer, Hofmann, Shaibu.Ipswich: Bialkowski; Chambers, Webster, Berra, Knudsen; Ward, Skuse, Bru, Sears; Murphy, McGoldrick.Subs from: Gerken, Smith, Digby, Malarczyk, Emmanuel, Kenlock, Bishop, Douglas, Dozzell. Facts and figuresFORM GUIDE (last five league matches)Brentford: L W W L W (9 points) • Home: W W D W L (10 points)Ipswich: W W W D D (11 points) • Away: W D D D L (6 points)TOP SCORERS (league only)Ipswich: 3: Ward; 1: McGoldrick.Brentford: 1: Yennaris.LAST FIVE MEETINGS9 Apr 2016: Ipswich 1 Brentford 38 Aug 2015: Brentford 2 Ipswich 27 Mar 2015: Ipswich 1 Brentford 126 Dec 2014: Brentford 2 Ipswich 423 Aug 2004: Ipswich 2 Brentford 0Brentford 1 win, Ipswich 2 wins, 2 drawsFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

 

Role of tertiary sector in shaping the nation brand

first_imgSulaiman PhilipIn the ongoing Nation Brand Forum University Dialogues, a panel at the University of Pretoria (UP) spoke about the role of the tertiary sector in shaping the nation brand reputation.Chaired by Professor Vasu Reddy, dean of the faculty of humanities at UP, the panel discussed the tertiary sector and its impact on brand and branding. The panel agreed that the timing was fortuitous as the role and responsibility of the sector in nation building was the subject of intense scrutiny and debate.Reddy highlighted issues that he considered critical when discussing tertiary education: unmet expectations of students and in delivery, transformation of the Eurocentric curriculum, and the experience of Black African students who perceived tertiary institutions as hostile to them and their culture.The panel could venture opinions but the issue was nuanced and in need of real study before solutions could be decided.Professor Siphamandla Zondi of UP’s department of political sciences suggested that universities were a useful laboratory to study the challenges we faced as a country. The sector would be the space in which we could find solutions to wider challenges.It is a task that universities cannot escape. They are already being asked to solve socio-economic problems in wider society. It is expected of universities to find innovative solutions to the problems of unemployment, inequality, poverty and failures in governance. Universities are being asked to solve these issues while aligning policies to national objectives.Universities have been tasked with eradicating the legacy of apartheid. The National Development Plan highlights the sector’s importance in building an inclusive society. Universities are being asked to imagine a future society and develop the skilled population to build that new society.Universities have taken this challenge upon themselves. Zondi pointed out: “We (UP) talk of a promise to produce the human capital, knowledge and technologies that make a difference. Universities themselves are promising to fix the national problem.”TRANSITIONBut we are a country in transition. We are a fractured country. How will the tertiary sector manage to fulfil this promise when universities mirror the fractured society? “Given the disruptions at universities can we be entrusted to imagine this new future? If we seize the opportunity presented by the current crisis to demonstrate courageous yet empathic, wise yet daring leadership to harness this crisis to produce a new university, perhaps we will move close to a multiversity.”Sithembile Mbete of UP’s department of political science, believes that the Fees Must Fall movement is remaking national identity, is remaking the meaning of the universities themselves and recreating our understanding of the 1994 settlement. The university crisis is reconstructing the identity of university leaders, people whose self-image was shaped during the struggles of the 1980s.The current university crisis has shown up the limit of our national imagination. Young people who grew up under the new dispensation are saying that the settlement of 1994 was not enough. This crisis is a brash, confident generation that grew up free, crashing into the limitations of that settlement.“The crisis we are facing in our universities is really a crisis of national identity. It is a crisis of who we are. What our identity is, what our beliefs are. And how we think about the development project that is South Africa.”POWER OF IMAGESThe advantage Mbete believes students have over the older generation who run the universities is their innate understanding of the power of images. We are living in a visual time and these students have been able to harness the power of optics to communicate their grievances more effectively to the outside world.University management and the government are losing the visual war. Securitising the campuses has also changed the language of the protests; today we use battle language when we talk about the protests. This has also allowed students to define the national identity to the outside world. “They have defined the country’s identity as one of crisis. We are not whole, we are not unified, we are a nation in crisis.”In commercial terms, brands do not change because people who own the brand decide it needs to change. “What we are seeing are university students who are the primary consumers of brand South Africa. The ones who are going to have to deal with congested Johannesburg in 30 years’ time. Who are going to deal with shaping the country of the future are saying we don’t love this national brand and we think it should be something different.”William Mpofu, researcher at the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies, argued that nation branding had its dangers. “Brands and naming are either weapons for destruction or tools for liberation and development.”We are living in an information age, but we are failing to convert from an information society to a knowledge society. This failing means we lack a compass to guide us forward. This is where our crisis begins. South Africa has been branded as post-colonial, but we need to find our own identity. Developing a national identity begins with undoing the historical identity of the nation.“Universities make claims to being universal, but in fact these institutions are provincial western Eurocentric institutions that may be geographically located in Africa, but they are western universities in Africa. Not African universities.”KNOWLEDGEProfessor Tinyiko Maluleke of the Centre for African Spirituality and Culture prefaced a question by saying that students who burnt down libraries had ceased to be students. “Why don’t you put their ancestors inside that library? Why don’t you put their own history inside the libraries? Why don’t you put their history and genealogies and culture of their own mothers inside of the library?”He ended his talk by asking if students would so easily burn down libraries if they dealt with the healing of historical injustices.Maluleke wondered how we as a nation dealt with the madness of destroying knowledge.He shared Mpofu’s scepticism about nation branding, arguing that branding was a natural extension of authenticity and not just what was positive. “Branding needs to be about what is true, what is credible because it simply is, not because we have worked hard at making it true.” When we talk about universities in relation to brand, this idea becomes important.South African universities were designed to be elitist, to include only a few in a society. Today we are talking about a million students, whose impact has been bigger than their numbers. It was not a system designed to accommodate the vast majority of the population. Over the last 20 years the system has had to deal with the influx of larger numbers of female and black students. When you talk about branding you have to take cognisance of these changes.“I put to you that the crisis we face today is a little like a bottle made for wine that is now full of umqombothi and the system has not been able to adjust to that new reality.”DISENCHANTMENTDisenchantment is not unique to universities. The students revolting on campus are representative of youthful South Africa so there is very little that universities alone can do. Universities can think about solutions but the problem is much larger than just the tertiary sector.In wrapping up Maluleke said: “Branding is a little bit about what people call you, but it is also about what you call yourself. It is what you have inherited rather than what is imposed on you. The idea of branding as putting on a jacket is too soft. It is a constant battle of self-definition because the country is constantly changing.”Mpofu added that all intellectuals were academics but not all academics were intellectuals. Academics were hardwired to follow routine and ritual. They could not be asked to invent new ideas. Tertiary sectors could not be held responsible for inventive answers.Mbete added that it was not the responsibility of the tertiary sector to find innovative answers to the country’s challenges. Innovation needs to come out of practice. It needs to come out of society, from people who are in every different area of life. The duty of academics is to ensure that students are better equipped to understand their context and interpret their context and to think up the innovation the country needs.Zondi ended by pointing out that the ideas that change society oftentimes came from outside academia. Academics needed to honestly engage with society from their position of privilege.SouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

 

New-look Bebo brings back Jab We Met zest

first_imgKareena Kapoor’s look in the forthcoming Salman Khan biggie, Bodyguard, has been leaked online. In the snaps that are doing the rounds on the net, Kareena sports primarily an Indian attire that brings back flashes of her look in the 2007 superhit, Jab We Met. A fan reportedly clicked her on the sets of Bodyguard and then posted the pictures on the Twitter site, kareenak_fc.The fact that Bodyguard is being shot in extremely-guarded sets has meanwhile given rise to speculations if the Kareena photos were deliberately leaked by the film’s unit to kickstart a publicity campaign for the film. Coincidentally, this is the second time in a couple of weeks that onset photos of Kareena in a forthcoming film have been leaked online. Recently, someone posted snaps and a video clip of Chhammak chhallo, Kareena’s much-hyped dance number in Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming Ra.One.”Leaking photos and video clips of upcoming movies is a common ploy that Hollywood biggies resort to, to generate buzz for a big film. “It’s too early to say if Kareena’s looks in Bodyguard and Ra.One were deliberately posted to create hype but whatever happened does help in generating buzz for both the films,” said a trade analyst.last_img read more

 

ISL: Ogbeche hat-trick leads NorthEast United to goal-fest win over Chennaiyin

first_imgOgbeche starred for NorthEast United FC as they upstaged reigning Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC in a seven-goal spectacle at the Marina Arena in Chennai on Thursday.Star striker Bartholomew Ogbeche (29′, 37′, 39′) scored the second-fastest hat-trick in the ISL and his three goals meant NEUFC has levelled the match in the first half itself.It was a goal-fest in the first half with Rowllin Borges own goal (4′) and Thoi Singh brace (15′, 32′) had propping Chennaiyin FC up. Borges would then make amends for his mistake by netting the match-winner early in the second half.Without a win in two games, the hosts started the match with urgency and were rewarded with an early goal after they forced a corner in the fourth minute. Issac Vanmalsawma whipped a devilish delivery in and Borges inadvertently headed it into his own net from inside the six-yard box.Bartholomew Ogbeche led from the front and inspired @NEUtdFC to an incredible come-from-behind victory over @ChennaiyinFC tonight.More videos: https://t.co/mrtZlxvu6i #ISLRecap #LetsFootball #CHENEU #FanBannaPadega pic.twitter.com/acZOaprLDEIndian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) October 18, 2018Though NorthEast started dominating possession, it was Chennaiyin who struck again. In the 15th minute, Jerry Lalrinzuala spotted Issac’s run down the left and sent in a wonderful through-ball for the winger to latch on to. Issac surged forward and squared the ball for Thoi who finished the move.The Highlanders pulled a goal back minutes before the half an hour mark after the energetic Federico Gallego managed to get a shot on target. Goalkeeper Karanjit Singh saved the shot but could not hold on to the ball and Ogbeche capitalised on the offering and slotted it into the far corner.advertisementChennaiyin, however, restored their two-goal advantage within minutes. Raphael Augusto wriggled free of his markers down the left wing and got to the touchline. His square-ball was bundled in by Thoi at the near post.The see-saw nature of the game continued but it was NorthEast who took the game by the scruff of its neck. Ogbeche came into his own and struck once again to pull the Highlanders level.First, he outjumped Francisco Fernandes to meet Borges’ cross and steered it home. Minutes later, he met Gallego’s wonderful through ball and rounded the keeper before rolling the ball into the net.Bartholomew Ogbeche scored a quick-fire hat-trick to help @NEUtdFC register a victory over reigning champions @ChennaiyinFC . He is the Hero of the Match.#HeroISL #LetsFootball #CHENEU pic.twitter.com/oIIUCc7zoyIndian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) October 18, 2018NorthEast continued their ascendancy after the break and soon went into the lead. Gallego found Reagan Singh down the right wing. His cross was blocked and Borges latched on to the loose ball on the edge of the area and swept a brilliant finish into the bottom corner.Chennaiyin pressed hard for a way back into the game but NorthEast showed composure to hold on to their advantage.Chennaiyin coach John Gregory threw on Jeje Lalpekhlua in a bid to conjure up an equaliser. He almost got on the end of a header from Andrea Orlandi in added time but just could not steer it in as Eelco Schattorie’s team held on to register a famous victory.last_img read more

 

Video: The Courier-Journal Made A Trippy Cartoon Music Video Of John Calipari’s “Enough Talking, Let’s Ball” Speech

first_imgJohn Calipari cartoon music video.The Courier-JournalBack in October during “Big Blue Madness,” John Calipari kicked off this Kentucky basketball season with the phrase “enough talking, let’s ball,” followed by a mic drop.  At 16-0, they’ve certainly done that, and now Calipari’s “Let’s Ball” had been turned into a very trippy 8-bit music video by the folks at The Courier-Journal. Would it shock anyone if this started playing at Rupp before games? Not us. We expect that it’ll get pretty big with the Kentucky bar and house party scene as well if the ‘Cats keep winning this year.[The Courier-Journal]last_img read more

 

Video: Duke Basketball Released An Epic 55-Minute Video Celebrating The Blue Devils’ National Championship Run

first_imgDuke and UNC get set for the tip.DURHAM, NC – FEBRUARY 07: A general view of the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke University Blue Devils tip off at center court to begin their game on February 7, 2007 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. North Carolina won 79-73.(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)Since Duke men’s basketball team won the national championship this past spring, many videos have been released celebrating the Blue Devils title. If you’re a Duke fan, you’ve probably watched all of them. None are better than the following one, though. Today, Duke released “Champions Forever: A Look at Duke’s Title Run.” It’s 55 minutes long and includes highlights, interviews, etc. It’s pretty great and definitely worth your time if you’re a Blue Devils’ fan. Videolast_img read more

 

Justice Minister Tables Reports on Supreme and Parish Courts

first_img The Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, has tabled the 2017 annual statistical reports for the Supreme Court and the Parish Courts in the House of Representatives.The reports, tabled today (April 3), provide information on the number of cases in the courts; the disposal rates; distribution of cases among the courts; disaggregation of the types of matter in the courts; rates for trial readiness and completion; performance rates; case load; and the length of time it takes for matters to be completed in the various courts.Minister Chuck informed that in 2016, the Ministry engaged Dr. Denarto Dennis, a senior statistician, on a full-time basis at the Supreme Court to develop and expand a data capture process in the Courts across the island.He noted that the work of the Statistician is being funded by the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) Programme, and that the preliminary work on the data capture system was done by the Department of Justice Canada.“This then enabled the statistician to immediately modify and implement the work of analysing and reporting his statistical findings. Further, the statistical personnel of the Ministry were reassigned to the Supreme Court to provide support to Dr Dennis,” the Justice Minister said.Mr. Chuck informed that a report on the Court of Appeal was soon prepared and published.He said a pilot was, thereafter, launched in the Parish Courts to capture information on criminal matters, and then extended to all other criminal courts by the end of 2016, then to the civil and family courts.The Minister noted that by the end of 2017, quarterly reports were being prepared on the treatment and disposition of matters in the Supreme Court.“The report generated reveals that in 2017, 12,604 new Supreme Court matters were started across the six divisions (High Court Civil, Probate, Matrimonial, Commercial, Home Circuit and Gun Court). The major finding of the study was that, on average, the disposal or clearance rate of cases is 49.70 per cent. This rate ranges from 24.18 per cent in the High Court to 97.86 per cent in the Gun Court,” he pointed out.He noted further that in the Matrimonial Court, 12.6 per cent of the cases remained in the system over four years before conclusion; while in the Home Circuit Court disposal of cases took between 16 days and 153 months or 12 years and nine months.“There have been improvements in this division since. For the cases filed in 2017, 41.14 per cent of those cases were disposed of in 2017. Albeit unfortunate, exception is a matter in the Probate Division that was completed after 39 years,” Mr. Chuck said.Meanwhile, the Minister said among the impeding factors causing the inordinate delays are the high incidence of adjournments, uncertainty as it relates to trial and hearing dates and requisitions.Mr. Chuck noted that 69 per cent of matters across the divisions go according to schedule. Of note is the fact that 80.5 per cent of criminal matters go as scheduled while 54 per cent of the Probate matters are on schedule.“The number of adjournments in the Home Circuit and High Court Civil Divisions is a cause of concern. 30 per cent of these adjournments are owing to missing files, non-attendance of parties, issues with service, wrong listings and outstanding documents. These contribute to the non-productive use of judicial time and slower rates of case disposal,” he informed.In the Parish Courts, 32,266 new matters were started in 2017. The average disposal rate was 69.75 per cent, as against the international standard of 80 per cent.“In order to forge ahead, it is recommended that the system allow for enhanced case and records management, a more robust system of scheduling and stronger stakeholder engagements,” Mr. Chuck said.“Additionally, increasing the complement of judges and support staff in the High Court would lessen the case load and positively impact the clearance and disposal rates. However, more emphasis must be placed in alternative methods of disposal, such as mediation, plea bargaining, diversion and dispute resolution,” he added.The annual reports have been published for 2017 on the Supreme Court website at www.supremecourt.gov.jm. The Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, has tabled the 2017 annual statistical reports for the Supreme Court and the Parish Courts in the House of Representatives. Minister Chuck informed that in 2016, the Ministry engaged Dr. Denarto Dennis, a senior statistician, on a full-time basis at the Supreme Court to develop and expand a data capture process in the Courts across the island.last_img read more