Use of Mediation in Trinidad and Tobago

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Mediation as a form of alternative dispute resolution is becoming increasingly abundant in Trinidad and Tobago. A more formal definition of mediation describes it as ‘a process in which a neutral third party helps the disputing parties to reach mutually acceptable resolution of some or all of the issues involved in the dispute (Deutsch, Coleman & Eric, 2006). Mediation allows for the peaceful resolution of most types of conflicts including family matters, neighbourhood disputes and property disputes. This form of conflict resolution removes the potential of cases going through the formal justice system. In fact, mediation has been proven to be quite successful in its use in Trinidad and Tobago. A pilot project was done by the Dispute Resolution Center 2010. In this project, 60 litigation matters were chosen for court annexed mediation. After the project was done, results showed that it yielded a success rate of 60% and a customer satisfaction rate of 95% (Unknown, 2012). Even though mediation was in its early stages, the results showed that people were contented with the outcomes against having to go through the process of the justice system. The mediator, although facilitates talks between parties, has a very important role. Apart from being well trained and verse in the field, the mediator has specific rules and regulations which must be carefully followed before during and after the mediation process. These rules and regulations are carefully outlined in the Mediation Act 2004; section entitled the Code of Ethics (Mediation Act, 2004). This paper will seek to outline the extent to which the Code of Ethic is effective in guiding mediators to act in accordance with ethical standards as well as identify any areas where there is sc...

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