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Trained Mediators to increase access to Justice and Relieve the Burden of the Litigation Process
Office of the AG
Mediation Training 2019
Trained Mediators To Increase Access to Justice While Relieving the Burden of the Litigation Process
The Ministry of Justice, Legal Affairs and Communication has taken a significant step in ensuring that St. Kitts and Nevis continues its advancement in relation to issues related to access to justice. A major initiative was launched on Monday 4th March 2019 with the convening of the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Mediation Training for St. Kitts and Nevis. The event (which took place at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel in Frigate Bay on St. Kitts) was jointly convened by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in collaboration with the Judicial Education Institute of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the University of the West Indies.
The training was designed and earmarked to provide certification to twenty-five new mediators within the jurisdiction of St. Kitts and Nevis. To this point there were just two trained mediators operating in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis in the persons of Mr. Dennis Knight and Mrs. Michele De La Coudray Blake.
The new trainees will be expected to be available to assist the court in matters that may be deemed capable of being dealt with through the process of mediation as opposed to going to full court trial. One of the purposes of mediation is to relieve the burdens (time and resources) associated with matters going to a full trial process. This serves to reduce and ultimately eliminate delays and backlogs in the court litigation system. At the same time the mediation approach provides the climate within which differences may be resolved without the degree of acrimony usually associated with full court trials.
Two eminent facilitators were on hand to deliver the 40-hour training exercise. Mr. Francis Compton is the Regional Mediation Coordinator operating under the auspices of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. Ms. Ann Diaz is also a qualified Mediator and certified Trainer with the William Mitchell College of Law of Canada and the Mediation Board of Trinidad and Tobago.
The importance of this initiative was highlighted by the presence of high level functionaries in the justice system across the OECS and CARICOM. The Chief Justice of Barbados Honourable Justice Sir Marston C. D. Gibson and the Chief Justice of the OECS Supreme Court Her Ladyship Justice Dame Janice Pereira joined the group of local participants who availed themselves of the one week training initiative. Local participation was drawn from a wide cross section of the St. Kitts and Nevis community and included persons within the fields of education, clergy and senior ranks of the civil service.
The opening Ceremony was graced with the presence of high level personages including the Governor General Sir Tapley Seaton, the Hon Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, Resident High Court Judge Justice Trevor Ward and Attorney General Hon Vincent Byron.