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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Wednesday, September 18, 2002 - St. Lucia is expected to play a significant and pioneering role, in the sweeping changes currently taking place within the judiciary in the OECS.

The introduction of Mediation into the court process, was one of the uppermost among the new projects announced by the Hon. Chief Justice of the OECS Supreme Court Sir Dennis Byron, during his address to mark the opening of the new law year on Tuesday, September 17th 2002.

According to Sir Dennis, a six (6) month Mediation pilot project, will be initially instituted here. The project will be managed by a special committee who held their first meeting on September 9.

At the end of the six months, the Mediation project will be replicated in all the other OECS jurisdictions. Training for Mediators in St. Lucia will commence early in October, following which mediation hearings will commence.

Judges will also come in for some relief when automated court reporting replaces their currently manual note taking duties. Computer aided transcription programmes have been identified as the main automated programme to be implemented in the courts.

According to Sir Dennis this procedure is currently ongoing in some OECS states; however some court reporters are currently being schooled.

“We are the beneficiary of a regional training programme. The British Virgin Islands Academy of Court Reporting has commenced a training programme for 18 court reporters in the region which begun in June. It is a two year training programme and we expect that at the end of that period, we’ ll have court reporting – fully introduced throughout the jurisdictions.”

Sir Byron, in his address, observed that the time has come for the trial process itself to be brought into sync with other improvements taking place in the court system.


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