Canadian government-funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) hosted a meeting on Thursday, April 27th, to discuss the formation of a Community Mediation Association in Dominica. The meeting was attended by persons trained by IMPACT Justice in Community Mediation and included NGO representatives, community outreach workers, police officers, church leaders and prison officers from across Dominica.
The proposed association will serve as a national network for the provision of professional community mediation services in Dominica. Its objectives are to:
(a) promote and encourage the adoption and use of the procedure of mediation as a means of resolving disputes and refer persons, families, companies, organizations or other entities to mediation if required;
(b) monitor compliance by its members with the Code of Ethics;
(c) provide and/or support the education and training for those practicing or wishing to practice as mediators and promote the study and practice of mediation;
(d) determine standards of admission to the various grades of membership of the Association and provide means for evaluating the qualification of candidates for admission to the appropriate grades of membership;
(e) print, publish and circulate among members or make available to members and other interested persons, papers, books, periodicals, circulars and other literature dealing with mediation and related matters, where required to do so;
(f) refer or nominate persons as mediators for the settlement of disputes;
(g) liaise with and present the collective views of its members to related bodies, public authorities and other interested organizations and persons;
(h) consider, originate, support and procure improvements in the law relating to mediation and ADR and the general practice of mediation;
(i) do all such things as are necessary and expedient to achieve the objectives referred to in the Constitution of the Association.
The meeting agenda included a review of the proposed Constitution of the Association, and the appointment of an interim committee which has been tasked with taking the preliminary steps necessary to get the association up and running. The committee members are:
Ms. Noreen John, Attorney-at-Law (Chairperson);
Mr. Nathaniel Cyrille, Teacher, Dominica Social Centre;
Ms. Vanya David, President, Dominica National Council of Women;
Mr. Cleville Mills, Assistant Superintendent of Police;
Mr. Oliver Wallace, Assistant Chief Welfare Officer; and
Ms. Judy Anselm, Police Officer.
IMPACT Justice has already taken similar steps for the formation of a Community Mediation Association in Barbados, and next on the agenda is the setting up of associations in Belize, Grenada, Guyana, and St. Kitts and Nevis, with a view to eventually forming a regional umbrella body.