The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) through the Judicial Education Institute (J.E.I) with support from the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project held a four day workshop for staff of the High Court of the Commonwealth of Dominica, as it continued its capacity building programme throughout its Member States and Territories.
The workshop which was held at the High Court of Justice in Roseau, Dominica from 7 – 10 October, 2019 brought together court clerks, filing clerks, case managers, the court administrator and bailiffs and focused on areas such as Building Relationships with the Public through Effective Customer Service, managing High Court procedures such as Probates and the Administration of Estates, the Civil Case Process including the Appeals Process and the Criminal Trial Process. The participants were also trained in the use of Video and Web Conferencing applications, Audio Recording and Filing.
The objectives of the workshop were to improve the quality of service delivered to the general public and legal fraternity, increase occupational skills and knowledge and to enhance the overall function of the court office staff.
An experienced team of Judicial Officers, including Her Ladyship Hon. Justice Kimberly Cenac-Phulgence and Her Ladyship Hon. Justice Bernie Stephenson, and staff used hands-on demonstrations, practical exercises and role-playing scenarios to engage the participants and solidify the workshop materials. Her Ladyship, Hon. Justice Kimberly Cenac-Phulgence met with members of the Dominica Bar Association for a special session on Probates and the Administration of Estates to highlight and explain the revised probates rules which were published in July 2019 and are to be implemented by 1st November 2019 in the Commonwealth of Dominica.
The training programme for the Court Offices will assist in improving and enhancing the administrative systems of the Courts. One of the goals of the training programme is the development of manuals which will outline the various procedures to be followed by Court Office staff in discharging their functions. These manuals or user guides will be invaluable to increasing efficiency and accountability in the Court Offices. To date, the ECSC/J.E.I has completed High Court staff training in Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, and Grenada.