The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court [ECSC] is continuing a month long sensitization drive to promote and build capacity across multi-state and civil organizations on alternative dispute resolution.
On May 26th, ECSC authorities briefed the rank and file in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force on introducing and applying mediation as an additional conflict resolution strategy.
Sharon Gardner-Hippolyte is the Registrar of the ECSC Saint Lucia jurisdiction. The ECSC Registrar, also a former Magistrate, believes that mediation reduce litigation and increase the efficiency of the courts.
Typically, law enforcement is the first point of contact in disputes. The ECSC wants to add mediation to the arsenal of police officers to, where possible, divert conflicts from the courtroom.
“We want to be able to give the police some types of tips on how to deal with situations when they are called out and that will not result in matters escalating and becoming volatile. If persons are taken out of the situation…little tips on how to approach a matter can maybe result in a different outcome if certain skills are adopted.”
The ECSC mediation drive runs through the month of May and hopes to inform the public of the legislated alternative to conflict resolution.