Several aspects of the various constitutions in the OECS came up for discussion and were highlighted for review and action at the two-day conference hosted by the Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice).

Areas which came up for special attention at the conference included: a comparative analysis of OECS constitutions; the standardization of judicial pensions in the OECS; highlights of Impact Justice’s Model Business Names Registration and Trade Marks Bills; the potential establishment of a sexual offenses registry; arbitration in the OECS; providing for continuing legal professional development in small jurisdictions; the benefits of community mediation; and, gender-based analysis plus and the IMPACT Justice Sexual Harassment Model Bill.

The objectives of the conference were to enhance awareness of the OECS constitutional provisions and to encourage consideration of IMPACT Justice drafted legislation by governments through explaining some of the key provisions and sensitizing their representatives to the initiatives.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Conference, High Commissioner of Canada to the OECS, Her Excellency Marie Legault, pleaded with the delegates to ensure that the model legislations provided and the legislative drafters trained by IMPACT Justice are utilized to meet the needs of the countries of the region and to enhance capacity where possible.

The Hon. Pam Webster Member of Parliament in Anguilla delivered remarks on behalf of the OECS Assembly, offering thanks to the Government of Canada for providing the opportunity for regional parliamentarians to gather in such a forum and noted that these initiatives help to assure the region that Canada is serious about its development. She concluded that development projects such as IMPACT justice are a worthwhile investment in the region.

Four Vincentians were among the parliamentarians, Attorneys, Business Persons and Members of the Media from across the OECS who attended the conference.

Local Parliamentarians the Hon. Dr Godwin Friday and the Hon. Nigel Stevenson, Attorney at Law Mandella Peters and Shana Daniel of the Agency for Public Information made up the Vincentian delegation who participated in the Conference which was held at the Ocean Terrace Inn in St. Kitts from December 5-6, 2019, and funded by the government of Canada.