PORT OF SPAIN – Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian-funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) and the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Projects held a joint regional stakeholders’ consultation on February 4-5, 2020.
The consultation aimed to have stakeholders of the two projects come together to reflect on the progress the projects have made since 2014; to suggest ways in which they could reach their respective goals; and, to highlight potential areas to be addressed by future initiatives.
The consultation began with words of welcome from the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, The Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders and from the Deputy Director of Policy at Global Affairs Canada’s Caribbean Regional Programme, Ms. Jennifer Heys.
Remarks and presentations were also delivered by IMPACT Justice and JURIST Projects Team Leader Ms. Michele Gibson; Regional Project Director of IMPACT Justice, Professor Velma Newton, CBE, SCM; Project Director of JURIST, Mrs. Gloria Richards-Johnson; and Programme Manager of the Canadian-funded Jamaica-based Judicial Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST), Ms. Tania Chambers. The respective Project Directors and Programme Managers presented on the work they have undertaken, their successes, and the lessons to be learned from their experiences.
The stakeholders were drawn from throughout the Caribbean and represented national governments, regional institutions, and civil society organisations. They praised the projects for the work which had been done thus far to improve the justice sector including the drafting of model legislation, training legislative drafters and instituting procedures for reducing court backlogs throughout the region. They also raised a number of issues which they believed the projects could work on to further enhance access to justice and judicial reform in the Caribbean.
The consultation was facilitated by Mr. Mark Stiles, Project Monitor for IMPACT Justice and JURIST, Mr. Dennis Darby, Consultant with JURIST, and Mr. Peter Bracegirdle, Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant with JURIST.