JIS News

The Ministry of Justice and the Disputes Resolution Foundation (DRF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to further cement the symbiotic relationship between the two entities.
At the signing ceremony held on July 28 at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices, signatories Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry and Chairman of the Board of the Disputes Resolution Foundation, Novar McDonald, agreed that the document signaled the deepening of the use of alternate dispute resolution methodologies in the justice system.
“The Ministry of Justice. has resolutely committed itself to the establishment and use of alternative dispute resolution techniques, as a means of promoting peace in the Jamaican society,” Mrs. Palmer said.
The six-fold objective of the MOU, as outlined by Mrs. Palmer includes: promoting the institutionalization and use of alternate dispute resolution and restorative justice in Jamaica; continuing budgetary support to the DRF; and supporting the work of the DRF through partnerships with international and local donor agencies.
Further, the Ministry will collaborate with the Foundation to establish mediation centres in strategic locations island wide; the DRF will provide assistance to the Ministry in the design of policy for the development and implementation of restorative justice in the legal, policing and correctional services; and the Foundation has committed to supporting the Ministry in the modernization of the justice system and in improving access to justice.
Mrs. Palmer pointed out that the DRF was acknowledged as the chief certification and standards agency for the training of alternate dispute resolution practitioners and mediators in Jamaica, and informed that since its inception, the Foundation has trained hundreds of persons in these techniques.
The Permanent Secretary also noted that the formal introduction of the use of mediation in the justice system has been achieved in both the Resident Magistrate’s and the Supreme Courts – the former by virtue of the Criminal Justice Act, while the latter has been through the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules, 2002.