KINGSTON — Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, is urging attorneys to assist their clients to settle matters out of court through mediation and arbitration.
Mr. Chuck, who was addressing the 2011 graduating class of the Norman Manley Law School held on October 8 on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), said that lawyers often “push for a win-lose situation, when you can, with guidance, secure for both parties and yourself, a win-win situation, and everyone moves on with their lives”.
“Clients (would) have secured justice economically and you are free to take on more clients without being weighed down by cases languishing for years on end,” he pointed out.
The Justice Minister noted that the government is looking at ways to steer appropriate cases away from the formal court system, by supporting the work of mediation in Jamaica, and introducing legislation, to allow for a formal system of arbitration.
He pointed out that the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF) is actively engaged in mediation, and civil matters from the Supreme Court are referred for mediation.
He urged the law school graduates, as they go out into the working world, “to get involved in mediation and with the work of the DRF, particularly, those of you who may not find employment immediately. It will help you to build up your experience and to make important networks.”
He said that mediation is an avenue that will provide many opportunities for young lawyers, who are interested in practicing commercial and business law, particularly where the use of information and communications technology (ICT) and other creative and scientific processes are involved.
“We want to see Jamaica and the Caribbean becoming a hub for local, regional and international arbitration, which commercial entities and traders across the world can utilise in settling their commercial and trade disputes,” he stated.
Mr. Chuck, in the meantime, highlighted other laws, which will open up opportunities for lawyers, and the country as a whole, such as the International Financial Services Authority Act, 2011, which was passed earlier this year.
“The Government is working also on updating the laws that will protect the creative and scientific property of Jamaican people and this initiative will create many opportunities for you,” he stated.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter