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St. Kitts and Nevis Embraces a New Boost in its Approach to Mediation
Office of the AG
Naming of National Mediation Committee and Certification of Newly Trained Mediators at Launch of Public Awareness Campaign
In a remarkable ceremony staged at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort Hotel at Frigate Bay on Tuesday 12th November 2019, St. Kitts and Nevis’ journey into the realm of court connected mediation was given added momentum. The members of a newly formed National Mediation Committee were formally presented with their Letters of Appointment.
The members of the Committee are Justice Eddy Ventose (Chairman), Justice Ermin Moise, High Court Registrar Mrs. Janine Harris Lake, Mrs. Teslyn Flanders, President of the Bar Association Mrs. Dahlia Joseph Rowe, and Mr. Anthony Gonzalves QC. Additionally, twenty-three new mediators were presented with their certificates of qualification for the task of bringing disagreeing parties together to find mutually agreeable solutions to their disputes, without the adversarial nature of the normal court process. The new mediators had been trained in March of 2019.
The presentation exercise was part of the Launch of a Mediation Public Awareness Campaign geared towards educating and sensitizing the public regarding the merits of mediation as an alternative means of conflict resolution. The event was held under the auspices of the Judicial Education Institute of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court with support from the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project of the Government of Canada, and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The newly appointed Chairman of the National Mediation Committee, Resident Judge Hon. Justice Eddy Ventose chaired the proceedings which included the following:
- The Rendition of the National Anthem by Ms. Kaylah Webbe
- Invocation by newly certified Mediator, Pastor Ron Collins
- Welcome Remarks by Justice of Appeal and Chairman of the Judicial Education Institute, Her Ladyship the Hon. Justice Gertel Thom
- Remarks by President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association Mrs. Dahlia Joseph Rowe
- Feature Address by the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship the Hon Justice Dame Janice Pereira DBE, LL.D.
- Remarks by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon Vincent Byron Jr.
- Presentation of Letters of Appointment to Members of the National Mediation Committee by Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Hon Justice Dame Janice Pereira DBE, LL.D.
- Presentation of Certificates to the Newly Trained Mediators by Her Ladyship Hon Justice Gertel Thom
- A Mediation Testimonial Video by His Lordship the Hon. Justice Paul Webster JA (AG)
- Vote of Thanks by High Court Registrar Mrs. Janine Harris-Lake
Also in attendance were Resident Judge, His Lordship Justice Trevor Ward QC, Senior Magistrate His Honour Mr. Reynold Benjamin, members of the local Bar Association, a contingent of students from the Cayon High School and members of the media.
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has been making steady progress in its quest to increase timely access to justice and to devise ways and means to mitigate the prospect of backlogs in court processes at all levels. The deployment of this alternative approach to conflict resolution is expected to provide some degree of relief in the litigation landscape while offering litigants the benefit of mutual agreement as regards the resolution of their disputes. With the appointment of the National Mediation Committee and the availability of the expanded panel of mediators, the Court is now poised to give effect to the vision of expedited justice in respect of all suitors.