The Government has been pushing to reduce the back-log of cases in the courts. Night court started on Monday, October 10 and now persons are being trained as mediators.
The Riverdale Mediation Limited, yesterday, commenced a five day Mediation Training programme at the Marriott Hotel.
Participants were drawn from the Child Protection Services, and include welfare, labour and legal officers among others. The training is facilitated by Coordinator of the Riverdale Mediation Limited, Hilary Linton.
Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence, while delivering remarks at the opening session, explained that the training is timely since it will help to reduce the number of cases in the court. “It is a fact that on a daily basis our probation officers and social workers including our child care and protection workers, are faced with a multiplicity of issues for which they are not adequately prepared. Even I, am stunned with some of the issues which pass across my desk…so as we traverse the regions I believe what is learnt here will help us,” the Minister said.
Minister Lawrence noted that the training will equip officers to address various family and community conflicts they are confronted with daily. It will also help parties to settle disputes. “The knowledge of this skill set facilitate alternative dispute resolution, thus engaging parties and effecting positive changes in the community and society in general,” Minister Lawrence explained.
Lawrence said the Government of Guyana applauds the Government of Canada for funding the training which will result in “an improved gender responsive framework and upgraded skills for the legal professions in CARICOM member states and build services for settling disputes.”
Meanwhile, Coordinator of the training, Hilary Linton, said that training will be conducted in both theory and practical skills. She added that it is designed to teach people the theory of conflict resolution, which can reduce actual court cases. “All those important things you need as a human being you don’t get in the court system. So through mediation people solve the real problems they’re having, in a satisfactory way,” Linton explained.
Mediation training is an out of court method of resolving conflicts. In mediation both parties work together to find a solution that is acceptable to both. The training will conclude on Friday, October 14, 2016.
The Impact Justice Community Mediation Training programme falls under Impact Justice’s broader alternative dispute resolution (ADR) component. The goal is to build the capacity for community mediation services around the region in an effort to reduce the burden on the courts.
The regional justice reform project is slated to develop or increase the pool of community mediators in 13 CARICOM Member States and assist in the development of a legislative framework within which mediations may be conducted. Impact Justice has already conducted community mediation training in Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.