Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter
WITH ITS core mandate to resolve disputes of any kind, the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF) has taken its message to the highest court of the land, packaged in a small user guide called Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The executive of the DRF yesterday presented copies of the user guide to Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peart.
All 63 members of the Lower House and 21 members of the Senate will receive copies of the dispute resolution guide.
Chairman of the DRF John Bassie observed that dispute resolution has always been a part of the Jamaican landscape.
"We are trying to elevate it so that people can see it more," he told The Gleaner after the presentation at Gordon House. "We deal with dispute resolution, as we say, from the bedroom to the boardroom."
He added: "I am very excited about it coming here. I am very excited about participation from our MPs and I look forward to dispute resolution growing here and also in our region."
Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation Donna Parchment Brown said the user guide would be distributed to libraries, law school and the Supreme Court. Copies will also be made available to mediators and arbitrators.
"We thought it was very fitting in the 50th anniversary year that the Dispute Resolution Foundation should have a product that it could share with all parliamentarians," she noted.
Satisfied with support
Parchment Brown expressed satisfaction that Peart and members of the House had agreed to accept the guide.
According to Parchment Brown, lawmakers have supported the idea of modernisation of justice by the introduction of alternative dispute resolution by a new Arbitration Act.
She said the foundation has a network of peace and justice centres across the country where "regular folks learn to be mediators and are helping their communities to be stronger".
The user guide will be officially launched tomorrow. It is funded by the European Union under the Democracy and Governance Project.
Full caption: Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peart (second left) leafs through the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) user guide with Pedro Alonso (second right), representative of the delegation of the European Union to Jamaica. The guide was presented to Peart yesterday inside Gordon House by the executive of the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF). Looking on from left are Clerk to the Houses of Parliament Heather Cooke; chief executive officer of the DRF, Donna Parchment Brown; and chairman of the foundation, John Bassie. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer