Wed | Aug 15, 2018

Editorial | A pitch for mediation

Published:Wednesday | January 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM

We sensed in the recrimination poured out on Yumei Pan, a shopkeeper of Asian descent who slapped a 13-year-old schoolgirl in the face amid a dispute over money, misplaced racial antipathy.

Much of the anger vented on talk-show programmes and in social media seemed to centre on the position that a foreigner, or non-native Jamaican, should be sanctioned for abusing the child. She should.

But the outrage, though justified, must not be allowed to cloak itself in the veil of race hate of bigots.

Charges against the shopkeeper, who operates a grocery store in Clark’s Town, Trelawny, were dropped after formal mediation and the parties arrived at a mutually beneficial settlement, including compensation, amid oversight from the Office of the Children’s Advocate.

Though we will not pronounce on the instant case, we urge Jamaicans not be goaded into believing that justice is only achieved after a case wends its way through courtrooms. Mediation, or what is broadly termed restorative justice, is also a useful means by which parties can resolve grouses. Public shaming, though good grist for reality TV and the Colosseum, may not always achieve the righting of wrongs.