‘Free up the courts’: Justice Minister urges litigants, attorneys to settle cases with mediation

Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck

Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck is encouraging persons involved in lawsuits, and attorneys to utilise mediation to achieve mutual results and to free up the courts.

Chuck, who was addressing a public education symposium in Morant Bay, St. Thomas on Wednesday (Jan 22), said he will be embarking on a mission this year to have cases dealt with in a timely manner.

“The Ministry of Justice will be urging litigants and attorneys to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR). We also have to use mediation to get more of these cases settled, so that we complete the process within two or, at most, three years, rather than dragging on for six and more years,” the Minister told the audience.

The forum, which involved Justices of the Peace (JPs), educators, schoolchildren, community leaders and agencies under the Justice Ministry, was used to provide information to members of the public on the processes in the courts.

Chuck said the justice system is making “strides” and called on stakeholders to give their “full support” to the country’s Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, “to achieve this milestone, where the system can be seen as one of the great service providers to the people of Jamaica”.

ADR promotes peace and seeks to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence, while mediation is used to resolve disputes between two or more parties, with a neutral third party serving as mediator, who assists the parties to amicably negotiate a settlement outside of the courts.

The Court Management Service, as part of efforts to educate the public about the procedures of the courts, has been hosting a National Public Education series since 2016. Under the initiative, stakeholders in the justice sector, and social services are brought together to facilitate discussions on how best to serve the legal and judicial needs of members of the community.

⁠— JIS