Prof. Velma Newton, Regional Project Director of the Canadian-funded IMPACT Justice Project, attended the 13th Regional Law Conference of the OECS Bar Association which was held at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort from September 16 to 18, 2016.
Mr. Ruggles Fergusson, President of the OECS Bar Association delivered the Opening Address, stating that one of the main objectives of the OECS Bar Association was to pursue continuing legal professional development and the annual conference was one of the main vehicles for so doing.
Professor Velma Newton addressed the conference on Day 2. She stated that she was especially pleased to see that Hon. Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of St. Lucia, in his Message published in the conference brochure, referred to the IMPACT Justice Mediation Bill which provides a framework for community mediation to deflect minor cases from the courts. He stated:
“Recently, the IMPACT Justice Project funded by the Government of Canada has provided model Mediation legislation with a view to providing for mediation as an alternative means of access to justice. We have to consider whether enacting such legislation may provide a new means of resolving an old problem.”
Prof. Newton’s address was followed by that of Capt. Junior Browne, Officer-in-Charge of the Faculty of Law Library, UWI, Cave Hill Campus. He thanked IMPACT Justice for its financial assistance to CariLaw, a comprehensive database of judgments of Caribbean cases, and to other legal information projects such as WILIP Online which would vastly improve access to the primary legal materials of the region. He then demonstrated how to use CariLaw.
Both the IMPACT Justice Project and the Faculty of Law Library displayed some of their publications and some of the conference participants signed up for CariLaw subscriptions.