JIS News

This year is poised to be a very important one for the Disputes Resolution Foundation as the organisation celebrates its tenth anniversary in July 2004. In a recent interview, Executive Director, Donna Parchment told JIS News that the Foundation had planned to utilize the year for public education to, “create a greater buy in of various stakeholders in the community and as a consequence, we have planned several activities intended to further these goals”.
To this end, the second Caribbean Conference on Dispute Resolution has been planned for May 13 -15, in collaboration with the Mona School of Business. The conference is targeting persons throughout the region who are practitioners in mediation and other methods of alternative dispute resolution as well as decision makers in corporate Jamaica and in the Caribbean.
“We are doing this with the Mona School of Business because we want to optimize the Caribbean opportunity and they have a lot of expertise in putting on conferences and the kind of high level work that they do is perfectly in sync with what we do,” Miss Parchment said.
“We see the value of mediation to the management of workplace disputes as well as how commercial disputes between corporations might be better handled. We are also hoping that the legal and judicial fields will be represented,” Miss Parchment stated, adding that a component of the conference would be directed at youth and community. “Community mediators all across the Caribbean are expected as we have done training in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago and we have sensitized groups in many other territories of the region,” she elaborated.
On July 10, there will be a 10th anniversary gala banquet at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. At this event, Miss Parchment said the DRF hoped to have as its guest, a significant world leader, who had demonstrated the value of dialogue as a part of how issues of conflict were handled on the world stage.
She informed that in November, there would also be a public lecture series on mediation by a distinguished guest from the United Kingdom, who had given leadership in the field of dispute resolution. He will put into perspective how mediation is being used in the high court in that country and the impact that this has had on the access to and delivery of justice at the Supreme Court level.
The Executive Director also informed that the Foundation would be hosting various sectoral interests at monthly breakfast meetings during the course of the year. In addition, the organisation’s website (http://www.disputeresolutionfoundation.com) will be very active. The Foundation started 2004 with a proclamation ceremony at King’s House on January 21 to mark the national year of disputes resolution.
Formerly the Mediation Council of Jamaica, the DRF was established in July 1994 to increase cooperation in the management and resolution of disputes involving business, the police, courts, social service agencies and the people, through the controlled process of mediation. The Foundation seeks to implement a very successful model of dispute resolution, which is widely used by businesses and courts in the United States, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

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