2021 Edition of Court-Connected Mediation Training gets under Way in St. Kitts and Nevis
Attorney General Delivers Message of Solidarity and Support
During a launching ceremony that took place at the Industrial Site venue of the ICT Centre on Monday 17th May 2021, Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. Vincent Byron expressed the support of his Ministry and the government for the latest iteration of training in court-connected mediation taking place in St. Kitts and Nevis. He shared the expressed greetings of the Prime Minister who he explained had taken an interest in the value of the process.
The training exercise is part of a continuing thrust by the Judicial Education Institute of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court with the assistance of the University of the West Indies and the support of regional governments. The overall goal is to promote mediation as a valuable tool for conflict resolution between litigants who have approached The Court for adjudication of their disputes.
According to Minister Byron, “…The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is committed to this process of training of mediators as it emboldens and strengthens the whole system of justice in our country….The administration of justice is critical to a proper functioning democracy….and we in St. Kitts and Nevis are proud to adhere to the rule of law…..We have given support to the whole process of alternative dispute resolution [through] mediation….”. He went on to reflect on the manner in which the government had provided financial and logistical support for the 2019 iteration of mediation training.
Of great significance also was the Minister’s reference to the imminent availability of dedicated facilities for the conduct of mediation exercises. “One of the key ways in which we [are now giving] support is that within the next few  weeks we would have ready three chambers that we have put together as a Mediation Centre at the new annex building that is about to be opened at Independence Square. That Mediation Centre will allow for regular mediations to be conducted by many of you here who are/will be on the roster to facilitate this…..We have expanded the role of the support focal point of mediation Ms. Teslyn Flanders who does more in terms of coordination, who will be able to assist in proper scheduling….taking on the administrative side of what has to be done…”
During his presentation, the Attorney General made a special observation regarding the roster as follows: “That roster is not just only available to litigants in St. Kitts and Nevis but [also] regionally; so that someone in another jurisdiction may want to select you to be a facilitator/mediator in their dispute..”
The Attorney General also acknowledged the important contribution of the Mediation Committee. “We must of course give kudos to the Mediation Committee that has been established here….headed by His Lordship Mr. Justice Trevor Warde QC and his Co-Chair Mr. Justice Ermin Moise. They are supported statutorily…. by others who are established in the Practice Directions that have been established by Her Ladyship Chief Justice Janice Pereira…”
The launch event was attended by high level personalities within the fraternity of academia as well as the justice system at the regional and local levels. Notable attendees in person were:
- Resident Judge Hon. Justice Trevor Warde QC who is Chairman of the local Mediation Committee and who also gave Brief Remarks
- Resident Judge Hon. Justice Ermin Moise, Co-Chair of the local Mediation Committee
- Registrar of the High Court Mrs. Janine Harris-Lake who chaired the proceedings
- Rev Adelyn Mgonela who had been certified in an earlier cohort of the training in 2019; and who delivered the Prayer of Invocation
- Mr. Dennis Knight (one of two long standing mediators) who delivered the Vote of Thanks
- Several other persons including the new batch of trainees
Notable virtual attendees were:
- Hon. Justice Gertel Thom who is the Chair of the Judicial Education Institute, who addressed the gathering
- Dr. Talia Esnard, Head of the Department of Behavioural Sciences of the U.W.I. who also gave Remarks; and
- Mrs. Ann Diaz (Coordinator, Facilitator and Trainer) who also addressed the gathering, taking the time to outline the dynamics of the delivery of the training
This course is being facilitated virtually. Accordingly, Mr. Dennis Knight and Mrs. Michele De La Coudray-Blake (two long-standing local mediators) along with one of the recently trained certified mediators Mr. Ron Dublin Collins will all serve as coaches to the participants on a daily basis for the duration of the forty-hour training regime.