Virtual town hall to tackle alternative dispute resolution

Virtual town hall to tackle alternative dispute resolution

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

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THE Ministry of Justice will turn the spotlight on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) at its Access Justice Live virtual town hall on today at 3:00 pm.

ADR is a method of settling disputes without litigation and includes restorative justice, arbitration, mediation, or negotiation. The ministry is looking to increase the use of ADR to resolve conflicts and reduce the backlog of cases in the courts.

Public relations and communications director in the ministry, Shari-Ann Palmer, told JIS News that the town hall, which is being held under the theme 'Alternative Dispute Resolutions; finding peaceful solutions together', will provide individuals with an opportunity to learn more about the existing ADR methods available to them.

“This event is important for the Ministry of Justice because we are working towards our overarching mandate of a safe, cohesive and just society. Part of this process involves looking at how ADRs contribute to us achieving this mandate. It's also useful, we believe, for Jamaicans to know about the options available to them when trying to resolve conflicts, and that everything doesn't have to go to the court,” she noted.

She said that the event will feature presentations from Justice Minister Delroy Chuck; lecturer in ADR in the Faculty of Law, The University of the West Indies, Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams; training and mediation manager, Dispute Resolution Foundation, Sharon Palmer; as well as justice of the peace and principal of Angels Primary School, Nero Christian.

Discussion topics include mediation, child diversion and restorative justice. Palmer said that youth voices will be represented at the town hall.

“We have persons who are practitioners in the area, our justices of the peace, who have to work in the communities, possibly a student, who benefited from ADRs and those who are being trained in the use of ADRs,” she noted.

Palmer is inviting Jamaicans to participate in the town hall, which is the final Access Justice Live event for 2020.

She said that the ministry is seeing a lot of interest in the ADR.

“We have persons on our social media platforms who are very interested, asking, in particular, how they can be trained and how they can access these services. So the interest is out there,” she noted.

The Access Justice Live virtual town hall is being facilitated through support from the European Union and National Integrity Action.

Individuals can participate by logging on to the ministry's Facebook page at MOJOfficialJM and also via JIS's Facebook page at JISVoice. The event will also be aired during a live outside broadcast on Radio Jamaica.

“I implore persons that, even if they don't have the time to tune in live, they can revisit the platforms and listen to the presentations. You are guaranteed to learn something new,” Palmer said.

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