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|The Family Court|
|Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:41|
CHANGING lifestyles coupled with greater modernisation have resulted
in family life becoming more complex and therefore conflicts within families have become increasingly complex as well. In this new dispensation, resolution of family conflicts and disputes cannot be resolved effectively through the traditional court system. That is why there is an increasing gravitation towards the establishment of family courts and Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) in many societies.
Court-ordered mediation involves the family court system mandating that parties involved in disputes try and settle any issues outside of court. This is often the case in divorce proceedings. In some cases, family court hearings will not be scheduled until parties have been through mediation. If the parties are unsuccessful at settling their disputes in mediation, they will then go to court.
The most common forms of ADR are Mediation, Arbitration, and Case Evaluation. In most ADR processes, a trained and impartial person decides or helps the parties reach resolution of their dispute together. The persons are neutrals who are normally chosen by the disputing parties or by the court. Neutrals can often assist parties in resolving disputes without having to go to court or trial.
ADR techniques have been used successfully in a variety of disputes involving individuals, small and large businesses, government, and the general public. Various types of ADR processes are available depending on the nature of the dispute. Many types of conflict often lend themselves to an alternative and informal method of dispute resolution.
Our country having recognised the usefulness and benefits of ADR several years ago began the process of moving in this direction.
Against this backdrop it was encouraging to hear the disclosure from Human Services and Social Security Minister, Jennifer Webster that our first-ever Family Court is now expected to be operational in the last quarter of this year. This will usher in a new and historic era in conflict resolution in our country.
According to the minister, while construction of the building is complete in the High Court compound, work is currently being done to have it furnished.
She said her ministry, through its Probation and Social Services Department, along with the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA), will be providing support to the court.
Responsibilities of the ministry will also be increased since approval has been granted for it to receive additional staff, specifically to deal with Family Court issues.
Webster informed the media that officers of the ministry will assist with such as guardian investigation, child custody counselling and assistance to families in domestic circumstances, among other issues.
The initiative for the Family Court was prompted by the awareness that the unit is severely affected by societal demoralisation. This recognition has motivated the emphasis on providing an environment where adults and children can seek justice and family law can be dealt with in a specialised manner.
The new facility will handle matters including divorce, division of property, domestic matters, adoption, guardianship and custody.
When the Family Court becomes operational one would hope that it would result in bringing greater justice to those who are involved in family conflicts and disputes.
At the same time the Family Court should relieve the traditional court system of considerable pressure which has over the years resulted in huge backlogs of cases, thereby delaying justice.
- GROWING POTATOES
- HOUSING - the most revolutionary social undertaking in Guyana’s history
- Traffic accidents a troubling issue
- Time to end this foolishness
- Pit Bulls
- Another investigative debacle is unforgivable
- Stamping out child abuse in our schools
- Playing political football with GPL
- Sustaining the agricultural thrust
- Curbing maternal deaths must be a priority
- Good USA/Venezuela move
- Treating our senior citizens with care, compassion
- LET IT BE!
- Time to decisively tackle the garbage disgrace
- Moving towards GPF’s reform and modernisation
- ILO predicts 208 million jobless by 2015
- Government’s emphasis on education paying dividends
- Encouraging signals for CCJ
- CULTURE: A BRIDGE TO DEVELOPMENT
- Security Reform Strategy heralds a modern police service