The Bahamas Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), under the Patronage of Dame Joan Sawyer, the now retired President of the Bahamas Court of Appeal and a former Chief Justice of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, has seen a steady increase in its base of qualified and trained professionals who can ably champion the cause of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution both locally and internationally.

Since its formation in 2010, the approved Bahamas branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London, England, has made steady progress in fulfilling its mandate to offer internationally recognized accredited arbitrators and mediators.
CIArb’s Bahamas’ Chairman, His Excellency, Dr. Richard C. Demeritte, says the organisation is ready and able to provide the necessary professional expertise in the arena of resolution and mediation. *“No need to import, The Bahamas boasts a pool of internationally recognized and accredited arbitrators and mediators, who are active and well-equipped members of the Bahamas Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. As such, the Branch is well poised to provide professional expertise in the resolution of disputes, whether civil or commercial.”*

His Excellency continued: *“We want the region to know that The Bahamas is a viable seat for international commercial arbitration where critical matters of both international and domestic concern can be arbitrated. We have a highly trained and skilled professional body, including members of the Judiciary, Accountants, Architects, Engineers, Lawyers and such, and we are as well-equipped as any arbitration centre in other financial centres around the globe.”*

The Bahamas Branch of CIArb has engaged in an intensive education and training agenda which is focused on equipping professionals in The Bahamas with the skills needed to practice anywhere in the world. Its Education and Training Courses are conducted in conjunction with CIArb, London, and are open to all professions and organisations interested in dispute resolution initiatives, including trade unions, the legal and financial services, accounting, engineering, architectural, medical, and dental disciplines and many others.

*“Properly trained and certified practitioners are here and ready to mediate and arbitrate”*, says Chairman Demeritte. *“And our internationally recognised training courses continue.”*

CIArb Bahamas enjoys an excellent relationship with and the support of the Government of The Bahamas. At a recent courtesy call on the Minister of Financial Services and a recent consultation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, both Ministers affirmed their support of the Branch’s initiatives.

The officers of the Executive Committee of the CIArb Bahamas, all of whom are active members of the Bahamas Branch, are: Chairman: His Excellency, Dr. Richard C. Demeritte, Chartered Accountant; First Vice Chair:Dr. Peter Maynard, Barrister at Law; Second Vice Chair: Mrs. Cherise Cox-Nottage, Barrister at Law; Honorary Secretary General: Mr. Tony S. Joudi, Civil Engineer; and Honorary Treasurer: Mr. Hubert Edwards, Chartered Accountant. Other members of the Executive Committee include, Mrs. Indira Francis, President, The Bahamas Labour Tribunal; Mrs. Kelphene Cunningham, Retired President, The Bahamas Labour Tribunal, Barrister at Law; Justice Lorris Ganpatsingh (Retired); Justice Rubie M. Nottage (Retired); Mrs Tina Roye, Barrister at Law and Legal Draftsman, Office of the Attorney-General; Mrs. Caryl Lashley, Barrister at Law; Mrs. Diane Bowe-Pindling, Chartered Accountant; Ms. Nicolette Gardiner, Chartered Accountant; Mr. Reno Miller, Accountant; and Mr. Damani Horton, Barrister at Law. Co-opted Members are the Rev. William Higgs, Pastor, Trinity Methodist Church, Nassau, and Ms. Phylicia Woods, Project Co-Ordinator, Office of the Prime Minister.

[The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators]( (CIArb), the parent organisation, is the world’s leading professional body for promoting the settlement of disputes by arbitration, mediation and other private dispute resolution procedures. It was founded in 1915, and granted a Royal Charter in 1979. The Institute has some 32 branches in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Middle East. Its membership comprises some 12,000 professionals worldwide.