American Bar Association plans conference in St. Maarten

POSTED: 08/22/11 12:27 PM

More than 200 judges expected in January

St. Maarten – More than 200 judges and lawyers will be on the Island for their Mid-Winter conference in January, said the Chair of Judicial Council of the National Bar Association of the United States of America, Judge Yvette Alexander. This conference will be held at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino next year from January 16-22.
The National Bar Association of America is the oldest organization for African American Judges and lawyers and St. Maarten was chosen from a number of Caribbean destinations. “One of the reasons that St. Maarten was chosen was because of its sister city relationship with Tallahassee. I came here about ten years ago with the Bar Association and we were able to network with the local Bar Association,” said Judge Alexander.
The conference is expected to inject much needed finance in the economy of the island and there is also an initiative to meet and deliberate on the difference of the two judicial systems where they will seek collaboration said the President of the National Bar Association Daryl Parks.
“This allows further collaboration of both cultures, especial judicial cultures. This will give us an opportunity to see how the Dutch administer justice in the country and allow us further to reach out to the youth in the community and expose them to lawyers and judges of African descent and to the United States system as well. We have already met with the members of the local Bar Association and have been exposed to the “warm welcome” of Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams during one of their sessions.”
Among the topics that will be discussed during the upcoming conference will be human rights issues, and the labor laws. Presently, one of the issues with regard to the judicial system in the United States is “how you plead civil cases in the Federal Court. They will also be addressing the changes in the laws as it pertains to them as judges and attorneys at law.
With regard to the issues of the youth and their behavior, “We have not been able to figure that out yet,” said Daryl Parks. Juvenile Justice has been one that has taken up most of their time. One of the solutions to youth behavior was to institute booth camps but they soon found out that this was not the answer.
Florida has decided to try other means of dealing with these issues following several deaths at booth camps, said Parks.
“One solution may be to encourage more parental involvement since the schools are not what they used to be and have caused a deterioration of morals, values and principles as we know them. There is a call for mentoring programs since one cannot depend on the parents alone and as a result there should be a collaborated effort,” Alexander said.

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