Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court launches mediation public education campaign

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CASTRIES, St Lucia —  The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), Dominica Circuit, launched the Court’s Connected Mediation Public Education 2019 and Beyond Programme Friday, October 4, with support from the Canadian-funded Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project.

The purpose of the media launch was to sensitize the media, generate public interest and heighten the public’s understanding of the Court’s connected mediation programme and its associated benefits in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

His Lordship Davidson Kelvin Baptiste presented the members of the National Mediation Committee with their letters of appointment. This committee will be responsible for the oversight of the mediation programme in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Additionally, 14 trained mediators have been added to the court’s mediation roster and they received their certificates of appointment.

Mediation is a process that focuses on the future and not the past. In mediation, parties are encouraged to consider ways of working together to make the future better.

Mediation also fosters creativity in the resolution of disputes. Therefore, mediation through the High Court of Dominica will be shown as the first step for resolving all disputes that arise between court users.  It will be highlighted that this method is especially useful, as a means of stirring discussion among prospective clients. Mediation also gets parties to concentrate on a cooperative win/win strategy wherein all parties can derive benefits. Mediation enables parties to control the process of communication and dispute resolution.

The litigation process is largely dictated by legal rules and procedures which sometimes seem to hinder the presentation of a party’s case. However, in mediation, parties are free to work together and agree on the procedures that best serve their collective interests.

It is important to note that mediation significantly reduces time, costs and stress. Litigation can deprive parties of many years of time, effort, peace of mind and opportunity.  In mediation, the resolution happens quickly—often in one session or one day!

Over the next 12 months, there will be a number of activities throughout the length and breadth of Dominica to sensitize Dominicans as to the court’s mediation programme.  There are plans to host Town Hall meetings, panel discussions in the media, a college open day, primary and secondary school outreach and a national mediation week.

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