Saturday, April 13, 2024

Short on funds and mediators

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Lack of funding to train mediators is the major hindrance to the introduction of court-ordered mediation in Barbados, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson said yesterday.
He was speaking to the media after addressing the opening ceremony of a two-day meeting of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police at Divi Southwinds Hotel, St Lawrence, Christ Church.
Sir Marston said the Dispute Resolution Foundation had submitted a project proposal, but Government was reluctant to move forward unless it was certain the mediators were properly trained.
“My main concern is if I send a family to a mediator they come out better off, not worse off. We have to be satisfied that if we put a name on a roster as a mediator in a court annexed ADR [Alternative Dispute Resolution] programme, that we can swear to your qualification,” he said.
It was not simply a matter of theory but it was also necessary to expose mediators to practical training which, he added, required money.
“We are trying to find some resources to establish training programmes so we can put the roster together . . . [where] our intention is to have one no later than June. I know I have been talking about ADR for a while and people are excited and perhaps a little impatient, but what we have got to look for now is money to do the training programmes which we will then utilize as a basis for completing our roster,” he said.
Sir Marston said the Attorney General’s office as well as a Canadian agency had been approached.
He however added: “International agencies tend to want to do a study, and we’ve already done the study; we know exactly what we need; we have all the information [pertaining to ADR], we just need to train our people so they are all on the same page.” (CA)

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