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Belize will soon have a court-connected arbitration facility

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2016. 3:57 pm CST.


By BBN Staff: A Government of Belize press release is reporting that the Supreme Court of Belize will soon roll out a Court-connected Arbitration facility which will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean Region.

“The first cohort of participants, comprising eighteen (18) lawyers drawn from the Magistracy as well as the public and private bars, undertook an intensive training programme after which those who become certified will be included on a Court Roster of Arbitrators. After implementation of the new arbitration facility, persons who file civil claims in the Supreme Court will be able to opt into having their disputes determined by an Arbitrator chosen from the Court Roster, the release states.

The training took place from October 3-6, 2016 at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus in Belize City.

UWI facilitated the four (4) days training and capacity building programme that incorporated a Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Accelerated Route to Membership component.

The project is intended to be implemented in January 2017 and the Honourable Justice Courtney A. Abel is leading this initiative by the Supreme Court.

“The new facility will see the addition of a new Part 74 to the Civil Procedure Rules, which will specifically provide for court reference to arbitration as an option available to civil litigants in certain cases. The said Part 74 Arbitration facility will complement the already existing Part 73 mediation facility. Separately and together, they underscore an overall commitment by the Court to support a culture for dispute management and better community relations where in appropriate casespersons are able to, with assistance from the court, where necessary, resolve their disputes without the need for court trials,” the release further adds.

Dr Christopher Malcolm, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Chair of the Caribbean Branch as well as Ms Shan Greer, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Vice Chair of the Caribbean Branch were the facilitators.

The training programme being undertaken will continue with a cohort of non-lawyers in January 2017 and those who become certified will be added to the Court Roster and will have equal opportunity to serve as Court-connected arbitrators.


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