Our Writers:

Will “Justice Mediation” be pushed forward?

Advertisement

There has been much talk, discussion and debate about the state of the justice system in Saint Lucia (and indeed the wider Caribbean). The situation becomes most glaring when the number of prisoners on remand is exposed. Presently there are more than 350 inmates on remand at the Bordelais Correctional Facility. This figure represents just over fifty percent of the population at BCF, a facility originally built to accommodate 450 inmates.

At the other end of the spectrum is the length of time it takes to bring ‘petty’ crimes before the courts, in addition to the backlog already being experienced in major cases. A number of solutions have been proposed in the past, including the establishment of a night court for ‘small cases’ but all to no avail.

Velma Newton Regional Project Director IMPACT Justice.

Velma Newton Regional Project Director IMPACT Justice.

But now a new proposal is being brought to governments in the region, including Saint Lucia, which if accepted can see the speeding up of some cases, through a mediation process. The Mediation Legislation Committee of the Canadian Government-funded project Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) met in Saint Lucia on Thursday December 17th to discuss a ‘Model Mediation Bill’ drafted by IMPACT Justice in response to requests by several CARICOM governments for mediation legislation. IMPACT Justice, which is a regional justice sector reform project, is being implemented from within the Caribbean Law Institute Centre, UWI, Cave Hill Campus.

IMPACT Justice wants to alleviate the backlog in Saint Lucia’s courts. By training community leaders in mediation skills, the objective is to resolve civil matters totally outside of the courtroom. The aims of Thursday’s Mediation Legislation Committee meeting were to solicit feedback from Government representatives and other stakeholders on the Draft Model Mediation Bill to inform amendments, and to agree on a way forward for finalisation of the draft Model Mediation Bill, with a view of its adoption by CARICOM Member States.

On Thursday the legislative drafter presented the Model Mediation Bill to Committee Members. The Committee comprises representatives of the Attorneys General, the CARICOM Secretariat, the OECS Assembly, the OECS Commission and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. A Supreme Court Registrar and a representative of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) association in the region are also on the Committee.

Speaking to the STAR following the meeting, Velma Newton, who is the Regional Project Director, said that she felt the meeting went well. “However, we were hoping that we would have gotten much further in the discussions than we did, ahead of another meeting planned for January,” Newton said. She explained that the Bill, as discussed, seeks to introduce the standardization of mediation in the region at the community level. “The whole idea is to have certain matters settled outside of court using well respected persons from within the community to preside over these matters,” Newton added.

These mediators will be trained and accredited but will be separate from what currently exists as a mediation system within the regular court system. If all goes well at the next meeting in January, the draft Mediation Bill will then be submitted to Attorneys General in the region for final perusal and consent. Much is being placed on this new initiative and much will be required by the political directorate to lend its support if there is to be any reprieve in our justice system anytime soon.

Share your feedback with us.
Advertisement

One Response to Will “Justice Mediation” be pushed forward?

  1. Poor People fed-up! says:

    MATTHEW 11:28-30
    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for i am meek and lowly in heart:
    and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

    Let everything that have breath , Praise the Lord!

← Go Back | bbApp | Local | pulse Back to Top ↑
THE STAR Newspaper The STAR Newspaper for Saturday September 24th, 2016
Magazines available in THE STAR Newspaper
2Nite Magazine for Saturday September 24th, 2016 ~ Issue no. 203
2nite Magazine
Sports & Health Magazine Inc. for Saturday September 24th, 2016 ~ Issue no. 111
Sports & Health Inc

Lifestyle & Archives

  • 2Nite Magazine TV

    2Nite Magazine's Candid Camera

    You never know where 2Nite Magazine will capture you next. You may very well be the next one 'caught on candid camera' at the next event!! If its HIP and its HAPPENING, then its in 2Nite! Hosted by: Faye-Chantelle Mondesir (Empress Faye)

    Posted by 2nite Magazine on Friday, 22 January 2016
  • Contact us via WhatsApp with news on 1 758 720 2896

    What's App
    Send us your news or contact us with your story via What's App.
  • Sound your voice and cast your ballot!

  • Poll for the week

    Do you think the government has fulfilled the majority of their promises during their first 100 days in office?
    Yes
    No
    View Result
    See all polls and results
  • TALK or VENT here!

    TALK or VENT constructively and share your feedback on our weekly news and stories. CONSTRUCTIVE talk is welcome. You have a voice with The STAR Newspaper!
    TALK or VENT constructively and share your feedback on our weekly news and stories. CONSTRUCTIVE talk is welcome. You have a voice with The STAR Newspaper!
  • Subscribe for latest news and updates

    Enter your email address to subscribe and receive latest news and updates via email.

  • The St.Lucia STAR Newspaper

  • STAR Articles