Court Connected Mediation
- What is Mediation?
Mediation is a structured dispute resolution process where an impartial third party, the Mediator, meets with disputants in an effort to identify the issues, explore options and clarify goals, outside of a court environment. The Mediator facilitates face-to-face meetings of the parties to assist them in reaching a mutually-acceptable agreement. Parties reach agreement freely, voluntarily and on the basis of informed consent. Mediation is assisted negotiation, and as the “process expert,” the Mediator helps the parties negotiate efficiently and effectively.
Mediators, unlike Judges, do not decide cases or impose settlements. The Mediator’s Role is to help the parties involved in a dispute to communicate and negotiate with each other, in a constructive manner, to gain a better understanding of the interests of all parties, and to find a resolution based on common understanding and mutual agreement in strict confidence. Mediation is becoming very popular as a means of resolving disputes, since it is invariably less confrontational, is often simpler and thus cheaper and has the added benefit of being able to be decided by whatever means the parties to the mediation agree between them.
- What does Mediation offer?
An informal setting to conduct a session
A trained & certified Mediator on the Register of Court-Connected Mediators
A system in which the parties to the disputes have full say over the outcome of their dispute.
A programme which is faster; as a result parties save both money and time.
An opportunity for parties to face each other and discuss their dispute in good faith with intent to settle.
An opportunity for relationships to be restored, maintained or rebuilt.
An opportunity for parties to work together to decide on the outcome of their dispute, thereby making it more likely to keep the agreement.
If, at the end, an acceptable agreement cannot be reached, the parties are free to proceed to trial.
- What kind of disputes can be mediated?
Almost all disputes can be mediated. Examples:
Landlord and Tenant
Wills and Estates
- Who are the Mediators?
Mediators are persons of diverse professional backgrounds with standing in the community, who have been specially trained. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has a roster of trained Mediators.
The roster of Mediators may be obtained from:
The High Court Office and/or
The office of the Mediation Coordinator
- How is a case referred to Mediation?
A case may be referred to Mediation at any stage of the proceedings:
A Master or Judge may make an order referring any civil action filed in the Court to Mediation.
The parties may by consent notify the Court that they wish to have their case referred to Mediation and in such case, the Master or Judge shall make a referral order The Mediation will be conducted by a trained Mediator, approved to be on the Roster of Mediators for the Supreme Court. Parties may select a Mediator from the Roster of Mediators. If the parties cannot agree on a Mediator, one will be appointed for them by a Judge or Master.
- How long after the decision is made to use Mediation will a session be conducted?
Mediations will be conducted within forty five days of the Referral Order by the Judge or Master.
- Who should attend the Mediation?
All parties must attend the Mediation session. If a party is represented by a lawyer, the lawyer may also attend. The lawyer can help the client work out the terms of the settlement.
A lawyer may not attend in place of a party.
At the end of the Mediation session the Mediator shall complete and lodge the notice of Outcome of Mediation with the Mediation Coordinator, for fling at the Court Office.
If there is an agreement resolving some or all of the issues in the dispute …
it shall be signed by the parties and the Mediator and lodged with the Mediation Coordinator for filing at the Court Office; and within seven days after the agreement is signed the parties shall apply to the Court for an order in terms of the agreement and the Master or Judge shall make an order.
- What is the cost of Mediation?
Court-connected mediation fees are regulated and set by the Court. A fee schedule may be obtained from the Mediation Coordinator.
- Where is the Mediation held?
Mediation sessions will be conducted at a Mediation Office which is under the management and control of the Court.
- For further information please contact the Mediation Coordinator:
– Anguilla: 264-497-2377
– Antigua and Barbuda: 268-462-3725
– Commonwealth of Dominica: 767-448-3388/3327
– Grenada: 473-440-2030/8847
– Montserrat: 664-491-2129/4686
– Saint Kitts and Nevis: 869-465-2009/467-1336/7/2195
– Saint Lucia: 758-467-7514
– Territory of the Virgin Islands: 284-468-5001
- 2017 Mediation Brochure