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Chief Justice Blenman Swears in New Mediators to Boost Belize’s Legal System

In a bid to streamline legal proceedings and offer more accessible justice, Honourable Chief Justice Louise Esther Blenman has administered the oath to 19 newly appointed court-connected mediators for the Senior Courts of Belize.

These fresh additions to the mediator roster mark the first intake since 2013. Their role is pivotal in enhancing the efficiency of the judicial system, particularly in resolving civil and family court disputes through alternative means.

Under the Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules of Belize, mediation stands as a crucial method for settling disputes outside the courtroom. The rules aim for 80% of cases to find a resolution without the need for trials. Judges possess the authority to direct cases toward mediators, while litigants can select from a pool of approved mediators for their mediation sessions. Acting as impartial facilitators, these mediators assist parties in reaching agreements that hold legal weight once finalized.

The appointment of these 19 mediators is anticipated to have a significant impact, notably in reducing the backlog of cases and enhancing the overall efficiency of the judicial system. By advocating for mediation as a viable alternative, the Courts aim to expedite resolutions and alleviate the burden on judicial resources.

Chief Justice Blenman expressed her confidence in the newly sworn-in mediators, emphasizing the Senior Courts of Belize's commitment to providing accessible, fair, and efficient justice. Their introduction signals a notable step forward in the Court's capacity to offer alternative dispute resolution services, thereby improving access to justice and enhancing the Court's efficiency.

The new mediators were sworn-in on 28th May 2024 at the High Court in Belize City.

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