Peter D. Maynard, Ph.D., Head of the Law Department at University of The Bahamas (UB) has been elected Chair of The Bahamas Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and is exploring the possibility of establishing a local arbitration center at UB. CIArb is the leading world institute for the education of professionals, the public and students about alternative dispute resolution. The skills training offered by CIArb includes arbitration, mediation, construction adjudication and others which have broad applications in vital social and economic spheres, ranging from the resolution of domestic and international commercial disputes, and the prevention and timely solution of construction disputes, to reducing the factory line of young first offenders to prison (restorative justice), and reducing and eliminating the case backlogs of courts, tribunals and governmental agencies.
“A top priority of mine in CIArb is ensuring the meaningful involvement of UB students. Right now, I encourage our students to surf to www.ciarb.org and sign up as student members. They can do so at no cost. Student membership is free,” noted Dr. Maynard, a Fellow of CIArb. “Upon my election, I asked officials at CIArb Headquarters in London how I can effectively engage students in the world of alternate dispute resolution, which is so important for our economy and the future of our students. I am pleased to ask students to join now without delay. It is a simple and free process and a first step to opening the doors to their future careers.” The Law Department at UB currently offers a course on Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR). Under his stewardship, the Law Department proposed key additional courses in mediation, arbitration, and international mooting. “I am pleased that the number of LL.B. admissions has grown from about nine students per year to about 40 per year in 2018. This is the largest number of admissions ever in the eighteen-year history of the LL.B. Programme; the numbers continue to grow and the options available to students continue to expand,” explained Dr. Maynard. “In that development process, we took a hard look at the future of the profession; ADR and other offerings of the LL.B. Department is very much a part of our vision of what lawyers will be doing in the future. I am delighted to share this opportunity at CIArb with students,” he added.
Moreover, there is considerable interest in establishing an Arbitration Centre in The Bahamas. On his plans to look into the possibility of situating the center at UB, Dr. Maynard said, “I drafted and submitted to a government the legislation and rules for the International and West Hemisphere Arbitration and Mediation Centre (IWHAM). The Government recently tabled a bill on the subject of an international commercial arbitration center. These are early days. But, I propose to examine whether the center can be located at UB. It would be immensely beneficial exposure for our students and faculty to be engaged directly in the activities of the center, quite apart from the benefits to UB’s brand, the economy and the society at large.” He envisions the project as a collaboration between UB, CIArb, private sector organizations such as the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation and the government. “It would be worthwhile to conclude a memorandum of understanding among those stakeholders on this subject at an early opportunity,” he said.