Justice Minister Delroy Chuck said implementation of the short-term Mediation Programme will further reduce the case backlog in courts.

Speaking yesterday (December 1) at the launch of the pilot phase of the programme, Mr. Chuck said several cases that are now referred to courts can be resolved through mediation.

Mediation is a process in which parties negotiate an agreement to resolve their dispute without a judge.

He said the programme that is being undertaken in collaboration with the Dispute Resolution Foundation will seek to reduce the number of cases brought before the court.

Mr. Chuck said less than forty per cent of the cases referred by the Supreme Court go through mediation, so the aim of the programme is to increase that percentage to over fifty.

This, he said will allow for cases to be dealt with in no more than two years.

Mr. Chuck said Government intends to have parish courts also refer cases for mediation and that financial aid will be provided for persons involved.

He argued that mediation has been increasing globally and it is the aim, that Jamaica becomes recognized for having mediation as the main process of settling disputes.

The pilot phase of the programme is to conclude at the end of March, next year.