High profiled training conference for the Region’s judges
(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) – The Caribbean Community Secretariat is part of a team of International Development Partners who will be helping to establish and strengthen Drug Treatment Courts (DTCs) in the Caribbean Region, through training and other capacity building initiatives primarily designed for the region’s judiciary system.
The first three-day high-level training conference will take place in Montego Bay, Jamaica starting on February 2 and will include judges prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment providers, and police officers from four parishes in Jamaica. They will be trained by experienced members of DTCs from Canada, to lead future Drug Treatment Court teams within the Caribbean. Two Drug Treatment Court Teams from Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago will also participate in this event.
This training intervention is titled Establishing and Consolidating Drug Treatment Courts in the Caribbean: A Team Effort. It is organized under the umbrella of the recently launched Caribbean Drug Treatment Court (DTC) project, an initiative coordinated by the Organization of the American States (OAS), through the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security and funded by the Government of Canada.
It also has the backing of the European Union, through the 9th European Development Fund, the Government of Jamaica through the Ministries of Justice and Health; the Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Courts (CADTC) and the International Association of Drug Treatment Courts (IADTC).
It signals its start on Wednesday afternoon, with an opening ceremony involving a slate of high-profiled speakers: the Honourable Dorothy Lightbourne, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Jamaica; The Honourable, Zaila McCalla, OJ, Chief Justice of Jamaica; Ambassador James F. Mack, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Secretariat for Multidimensional Security of the Organization of the American States (OAS); Ms. Myrna Bernard, Officer in Charge of the Human and Social Development Directorate at the CARICOM Secretariat, Ms. Celia Champagnie, Regional Peace and Security Officer at the Canadian High Commission, Jamaica and Dr. Earl Wright, Chairman of the National Council of Drug Abuse, Jamaica.
The Opening Ceremony will be followed by a plenary, including three keynote speakers who will address the importance of Drug Treatment Courts in the Caribbean. They are Canada’s Justice Paul Bentley, Chair, International Association of Drug Treatment Courts (IADTC); Justice Kofi Barnes, Chair, Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals (CADTC) and Jamaica’s Justice Glen Brown, High Court Judge and one of the founders of the Drug Treatment Courts in Jamaica.