GIS – As part of the observance of the 50th Anniversary of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), the registry of the Supreme Court has embarked on an islandwide sensitization campaign on the use of mediation as an alternate dispute resolution.
Mediation is designed for those in a dispute who wish for the situation to be resolved before the matter escalates.
At a press conference held at the Government Information Service on May 8, High Court Judge, Justice Francis Belle, said the process of mediation is now a part of the courts proceedings.
“[Previously] the only way to resolve your dispute in a court was to go before a judge. Of course, people always had the opportunity to meet separately and dispute settlements, but now, as a formal part of the court’s procedures, the rules provide for it and there is a practice direction based on the rules that also provides and fleshes out how mediation is supposed to work.”
The panel assembled at the press conference, which included Dr Urban Seraphine and Mr Francis Compton pointed out that mediators, unlike judges, do not decide cases or impose settlements. Their role is to help the parties involved in a dispute to communicate and negotiate with each other to gain a better understanding of the interests of all parties, and to find a resolution based on common understanding and mutual agreement in strict confidence.