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Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court introduces mediators as part of legal procedings

By GIS

law-legislation9GIS – 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.

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3 comments

  1. It's a good move promoting ADR.

    Too often, one or both parties get needlessly swept up in pursuing legal proceedings and taking the court's time where the matter could more readily, more expediently, and without the amped-up emotion and conflict, simply talked out.

    ADR results in fewer parties burning un-necessary money on protracted legal proceedings and frees up the time of courts for more pressing matters.

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  2. While mediation can sometimes be a good intervention it can also deny the poor of their legal rights. The rich and powerful are always in a position to know their rights.

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    • Poor on poor transgressions where neither party can afford costly lawyer fees, mediation can help to move them forward. This will go some way in unclogging the courts of minor cases.

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