(BRIDGETOWN, December 31, 2014) As 2014 came to a close, an eager bunch of court clerks participated in the two-day mediation coordinator training session sponsored by the Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project at the Supreme Court of Barbados.
While bound together for an introductory exercise, the 16 participants indicated a strong interest in mediation and being involved in the mediation process.
Workshop facilitator, Francis Compton, supported the participants’ eagerness and reinforced the need for unity in getting the programme started.
“This will be the group to bring mediation to Barbados. You will be the team that will work assiduously from today onward,” he said.
Professor Velma Newton, regional director, IMPACT Justice Project emphasised that mediation coordinators were key members in the court annexed mediation process.
“The coordinators have to know what mediation is all about and the procedures which have to be put in place before the court can start a mediation programme,” she said. “These aspects form the agenda of the training over this two day workshop.”
In his remarks, Barbados’ Chief Justice Marston Gibson explained that the training programme would contribute to a paradigm shift in the clerks’ thinking as it relates to the concept of mediation.
“This training programme is not about giving you a skill set, it is about giving you an entirely new mindset, a new way of looking at things,” he said. “At the very least, the mindset moves from let’s do battle, to let’s have a discussion.”
He also indicated that the court-annexed mediation programme in Barbados would start as early as February 2015.
Court clerks first to receive training as they set the foundation for getting the court annexed mediation programme off the ground in Barbados.