By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-A leading judicial officials wants to give a new lease on life to mediation practices in St. Kitts and Nevis instead of running to the courts to settle differences that turn contribute to efficiency in the Justice system.
The call came from Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Dame Janice Pereira who spoke at the opening of the second High Court at the Sir Lee Llewelyn Moore Judicial Complex.
Ms. Pereira said in recent times mediation practices had been eroded and called for a reintroduction of the practice.
She said, “I make reference to mediation which is a part of the tools that the courts use for improving the efficiency within our courts and to say that I am aware from research that we have lost some ground in the use of the mediation tool.
She added that she had received assurances by the government that steps would be taken to help rejuvenate the practice in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“It is my hope that we will revitalize this very vital aspect, and in that vein, the Honourable Attorney General has made indications that the plan is to have a fully functional mediation center,” she said.
The Chief Justice stated that the judiciary will be making a push in the federation to recapture ground in respect of the mediation services afforded by the court.
“I recently indicated that it is no short view that one of the very powerful tools which is enshrined in our civil procedure rules is the idea that we must assist parties to settle their matters in a manner that is fair and just too both sides,” she declared.
Pereira backed any effort to improve mediation practices and improves the access to justice.
“All these steps have my full support and I look forward to continued collaboration as we continue to implement measures for greater efficiency and accountability and in so doing improve the quality of access to justice overall for the people of this Federation,” she said.
A modern-day second high court opened in St. Kitts and Nevis last week and is expected to help deliver swifter and more efficient justice in the Federation
It was also announced that the land registry will also be made a separate registry from the high court registry and in the future a family court, a juvenile court and a commercial court will be opened, so litigants can access justice in a timely manner.