REHABILITATION OF THE COURTHOUSE OF JACMEL
(Haiti Libre) -
The two-story building, erected in 1908, which covers an area of 160 m2 in the historic district and which houses the Courthouse of Jacmel, was, despite its resistance, severely damaged by the earthquake of January 12, 2010, making it inoperable for the judicial and administrative staff.
Mr. Jean S. Avillon, Director of Judicial Affairs from the Ministry of Justice, in the presence of judicial authorities from the city, representatives of the Institute for the Protection of National Heritage (ISPAN) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has inaugurated the launching of work funded by UNDP to the tune of USD$350,000. The Ministry of Justice has entrusted the implementation of the project and its seismic retrofitting, to the ISPAN over a period of four months. "The Courthouse of Jacmel is a historical heritage that characterizes the architecture dating back over one hundred years. Our duty is to preserve this property. [...] If this building is still alive, it is thanks to the roof tiles that allowed it to resist," explains Elsoit Colas, technical director of ISPAN. "The work that we will conduct will allow the building to regain its stability through the use of seismic standards."
"Justice is the guarantor of citizens' rights. Without justice, peace , security or development can not exist and, when the judicial structures are destroyed, they must be rehabilitated in a timely and sustainable manner," declared Paolo del Mistro, Project Manager of the project Rule of Law of UNDP.
"... After January 12, we were forced to find an alternative as soon as possible. Thus, since February 2010, the hearings are held under a tent provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross, located in the courtyard of the Manoir Alexandra, and we use the annex building of the Courthouse as offices. Our priority was to revive the judicial machinery," explains Me. Adeline Dougé François, Dean of the trial court of Jacmel.
These are the working conditions of lawyers, clerks... who have been working in these conditions for almost two years. "These are not ideal conditions. We have more than 50 people packed into the annex but we have no choice," explained Luc Francois, lawyer of the bar of Jacmel; adding that "The files, the follow-up of the trials can not remain unanswered. Lives depend on it. People are waiting and we must give them justice."