by Rose Bhagwan
The Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) is a 5-year regional justice sector amendment project, designed to help address the shortcomings in the justice arena among the CARICOM Member States. It is being implemented from within the Caribbean Law Institute Centre, Faculty of Law, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.
Training began in Grenada on Monday, 29 February and continues until Friday, 4 March 2016 at the Coyaba Beach Resort. IMPACT Justice Regional Project Director, Professor Velma Newton, explained that this project will assist governments in devising legislation, training mediators to solve issues outside of the courts, and familiarizing the general public about their rights under the law.
This follows several successfully conducted community mediation training sessions by IMPACT Justice, in St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Dominica, Jamaica and Barbados. Recipients of the training included police officers, educators, social workers, community activists and business personnel. Schools guidance counsellors, as well as ministry officials, will also be trained, as they too can aid in addressing issues before they grow into large-scale problems.
The Canadian-funded project seeks to increase the availability of mediators among 13 of the CARICOM Member States — Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago.