The establishment of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre in Barbados is on the horizon. This is according to International Business Minister, the Hon. Donville Inniss, who made the disclosure recently, after chairing a meeting at his office.
A number of officers from key government departments, including senior Ministry staff, and representatives from the Barbados International Business Association, Barbados Chamber of Commerce, Barbados Bar Association, Chancery Chambers and Invest Barbados, were in attendance and witnessed a presentation on Establishing Barbados as an International Hub for Conflict Management and Resolution by ADR Consultant, Baria Ahmed.
Minister Inniss noted that, “We have come to the point where having reviewed the various studies and reports on the issue we need to forge ahead with a sense of urgency and purpose towards establishing this Centre.
“Let me say at the outset it will be designed to complement the Judiciary, and not in any way, form, shape or fashion to replace or attempt to replace it really.
“We recognise that there will be disputes that arise between parties, commercially oriented normally, but we can settle outside of the rigours of the court system… People want this for several reasons; some look at the cost, some look at the timing of it as well as the confidentiality in not having public records on some of these matters.”
In lauding the initiative, the Minister stated that the opportunities were there for Barbados to establish the Centre, which would cater to domestic, regional and international clientele.
He further informed that it was their goal from day one to focus on a Centre that was international in nature, as it was recognised from early on that this was another avenue to diversify the economy, as well as build upon the good reputation Barbados has as a domicile of choice in international and domestic business.
Minister Inniss also indicated that it would certainly complement what was already being done in the domestic and international business arena. The Centre will bring about settlements in several areas, including family, property and consumer disputes, issues pertaining to rents and cheques, and motor vehicle accident cases.