An Adjudication Committee is comprised of persons with specialized skills and knowledge who deliberate on the rights and interest of any person in relation to land within an area declared under The Registration of Titles, Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as the SPA). Members of the Committee are appointed by the Minister responsible for land.
By virtue of Section 2 of The Registration of Titles, Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) (Adjudication Committees) Regulations, an Adjudication Committee shall consist of not less than four and not more than five members as follows:
- an Attorney-at-Law with at least ten years of experience in the practice of civil law;
- a Commissioned Land Surveyor of at least ten years of experience in land surveying;
- a nominee of the Minister responsible for land;
- a Justice of the Peace residing in the community in which the land is situate or in a neighbouring community; and
- such other person from the community in which the land is situate or in a neighbouring community.
By virtue of Section 4(1) of the aforementioned Regulations, the appointment of every Committee is to be evidenced in writing and must state the period of appointment of each member and cannot exceed three years. By virtue of Section 4(2) of the aforementioned Regulations, every member of the Committee is eligible for reappointment, however, a member cannot be appointed for more than two consecutive terms.
Adjudication Committees are currently established in every parish and the majority of Adjudication Committees are formed along established Electoral Office of Jamaica boundary lines. There are no legal impediments preventing any Committee from hearing a matter that falls outside of its boundary jurisdiction.
The role of the Adjudication Committee is to adjudicate land tenure issues arising from Ad Hoc registration and the Systematic Registration process and issue an Adjudication Certificate as conclusive proof of ownership where ownership is determined.
The matters referred under Ad Hoc Registration are the Land Administration and Management Division (LAMD) Applications or Applications certified by the LAMD in which Applicants are unable to satisfy the strict requirements of the Registration of Titles Act (RTA), particularly as regards the requirement for the submission of deeds, documents or other evidence that the Applicant relies in support of his claim to ownership of the land.
The matters referred under Systematic Registration are objections to the Adjudication Record arising from the Adjudication Process. All objections to the Adjudication Record are heard and determined in the same manner as the LAMD Applications referred to the Committees.
Any person dissatisfied with the decision of the Adjudication Committee may proceed to Court.