Services

Mediation

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters.

The term “mediation” broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable and dynamics that “ordinary” negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process.

Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator’s skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications and licensing followed, producing trained, professional mediators committed to the discipline.

The benefits of mediation include:

The Dispute Resolution Centre was the first Private organisation to be certified as a Mediation Agency with the Mediation Board of Trinidad and Tobago and our Mediators are certified by the Board.  In 2010, through a joint initiative with the Judiciary, the Centre became an innovator of Court-Annexed Mediation which was spearheaded by the Honourable Chief Justice Ivor Archie. This groundbreaking initiative resulted in quick, cost-effective mediations with a 60% success rate!

The Centre has trained many professionals from various disciplines and maintains a panel of mediators.  We match these mediators to cases where their special experience and expertise are most relevant.The Centre can provide full administrative support for all matters referred to mediation, including secretarial, accommodation and housekeeping services. Disputes may be referred at any stage, before or after the commencement of legal proceedings.

The Centre recommends the incorporation of Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR) clauses into all contracts. In the event of a dispute, the parties will be under a contractual obligation to discuss the problem privately and find an amicable solution through ADR.  This is a good way to manage disputes.  Where such a clause does not exist, the Centre can assist parties in structuring agreements to govern the conduct of mediation in conflict situations.

Types of Disputes Mediated at the Centre

The Centre administers simple two-party disputes to complex multi-party matters, local and international, with claims ranging from several thousand to millions of dollars.  The Centre is experienced in mediating the following types of claims:

  • Contract
  • Corporate
  • Commercial
  • Banking & Finance
  • Insurance
  • Construction

 

  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Personal Injury
  • Negligence
  • Sports
  • Family
  • Libel/Defamation

 

  • Land and Estate
  • Landlord /Tenant
  • Intellectual Property
  • Industrial Relations
  • Employment
  • Debt Recovery
  • Nuisance

 

Physical Infrastructure

Location:

The Dispute Resolution Centre is conveniently located on the outskirts of Port of Spain.  The Centre is housed on the ground floor of the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber Building and is privately located with a separate entrance at the side of the building.  During mediation sessions, the Centre is entirely reserved for the parties and their attorneys, providing privacy.

Meeting Rooms:

The Centre has a main meeting room and breakout room to manage mediations of up to 12 persons.  The Centre also has access to larger meeting rooms at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber to accommodate larger groups or to facilitate simultaneous mediation sessions.

Parking:

The Centre offers convenient parking at the Chamber at no extra cost.  The car park can accommodate over 50 vehicles.

Electronic Access:

During the mediation session, parties have access to telephone, fax, email, internet and multimedia services at the Centre.

Security of Documents:

The Centre stores all mediation documents in a separate secure filing cabinet with controlled access to these files restricted to the Executive Director and the staff involved in the process.

 

Court Annexed Mediation Pilot Project

In 2010 there was a Court Annexed Mediation Pilot Project involving 60 Civil High Court matters. It was the first of its kind in the country.  Over a period of six months, the High Court Judges referred cases to the Centre for mediation.  The Pilot provided an avenue to determine the success and acceptance of mediation.  The outcomes demonstrated that the time was ripe to pursue this further.

Over 300 disputants and their attorneys participated in the Project and while participants differed in age, race, income, location, and by the nature and value of their disputes, there was considerable support for mediation.  Over 90% of the participants said they would use and recommend mediation, including those persons whose matters did not settle.  This is testament to a fair, neutral and robust process handled in a professional manner by a committed team of mediators and administrative support.

The Project was independently assessed by Professor Michael Lang, a Conflict Resolution specialist from the United States and a final report submitted to Chief Justice Ivor Archie in 2010.  Eleven High Court judges participated in the project and cases were mediated in Port of Spain, San Fernando and Tobago.

Following is a summary of the findings from the “Final Evaluation Report – Court Annexed Mediation Pilot Project – December 10, 2010”:

 

Feedback from 300 Disputants and Attorneys

 Feedback on Administration:

  • The Case Administration, Scheduling, and Confirmation Process was Efficient and Effective
  • The DRC Staff were Knowledgeable, Responsive, Courteous and Thorough
  • The Conference Room Facilities and Amenities were Comfortable and Convenient
  • The Mediation Session was Scheduled Promptly and at a Convenient Time

 Professor Lang concluded that:

without a doubt, the pilot project had been a remarkable accomplishment and genuine success.

“the pilot outperformed well-established court annexed mediation programs in the US and the UK”.

 

Request for Mediation Updated April 2015

 Sample ADR Clauses (1) Updated


Applying to the DRC Roster_Nov2012