Sun | Sep 19, 2021

John Bassie: Flying the J’can flag high

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2020 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell Livingston/Gleaner Writer

JOHN BASSIE'S life is all about service. His footprints in arbitration saw him starting the Jamaica chapter of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) in the Caribbean in 2007 and going on to forming chapters in other parts of the Caribbean that same year.

In 2009, he united the chapters and formed the Caribbean branch of the CIArb. As well as being a founding member of the Bahamas chapter, he assisted in the evolution of that chapter into the Bahamas branch.

Bassie, who has a vibrant arbitration practice, in 2009 passed the panel review in the United Kingdom and was bestowed the highest qualification of the institute - that of being a chartered arbitrator. He also became a qualified trainer and hosted training programmes at all levels throughout the world.

It is this body of work that has now seen him being nominated and elected unopposed by the Caribbean branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators for the post of global president.

The presidential election process is governed by the voting of the offices of president, deputy president and vice-president, and the election takes place at the institute?s biannual congress.

PRESIDENTIAL ROLE

The role of the president is ambassadorial and is to promote the object of the institute.

Bassie told The Gleaner that he was honoured to represent the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Caribbean branch as the gold standard in producing and training international arbitrators.

"The president of the largest global alternative dispute resolution organisation is required to be the public face of the institute to the worldwide membership, relevant external organisations and governments," he shared on a part of what his task will be.

Bassie, who is also the chairman of the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica, was born in London to a Jamaican mother and Sierra Leonean father.

The Calabar High School past student, sharing his passion for arbitration, said his mother, a retired barrister, brought him up to respect himself and others and to practise the 'golden rule'.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. This perspective of justice became a natural motivation to examine, study, learn and practise other alternative dispute resolution techniques," he shared, adding that he genuinely believes that alternative dispute resolution has played and continues to have a significant role to play in judicial systems, school systems, communities, employment and our daily lives.

"These techniques and skill sets need to be introduced and taught at an early stage as our society develops and grows," he continued.

Bassie, a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association of the United Kingdom, has been practising that aspect of law for more than 15 years and overseeing his firm, which handles all types of civil matters, in particular labour, conveyancing, family, estate and corporate. He is also an experienced accountant, worked at high levels in the world of finance, and has been able to co-opt this experience into his law practice. He is also one of the columnists for the Immigration page, published in The Gleaner on Tuesdays.