Why the Research?

AuthorPeter Jamadar/Elron Elahie/Richard Jamadar
The Mandate of Procedural Fairness
This research on Intentional Awarenessing broadens and builds on research done by the
Judicial Education Institute of Trinidad and Tobago (JEITT) on procedural fairness,
carried out under the direct guidance of Peter Jamadar (also one of the researchers in this
project), who was chairperson of the Institute from 2009-2019. Another researcher in this
research project, Elron Elahie, was also intimately involved in that JEITT procedural
fairness research and reporting. That research was undertaken during the period 2015-
2017. It produced the following direct outputs: a) Proceeding Fairly (Report), b)
Procedural Fairness A Manual, and c) Reflections of an Interested Observer.5 It also
influenced the following publication, Exploring the Role of the CPR Judge.6
In terms of intent, the purpose of this research was to explore and discover whether
practicing Mindfulness, as Intentional Awarenessing, could positively support judicial
officers in the discharge of their judicial functions in the courtroom, with a special focus
on enabling them to realize the standards of procedural fairness.
The procedural fairness research revealed that in Trinidad and Tobago, court users
considered that there are nine primary elements that impact their perceptions and
experiences of fairness and justice, and which had a direct influence on public trust and
confidence in the administration of justice, with consequential implications for
compliance with court orders and directions, and for recidivism. These nine elements are:
voice, respectful treatment, neutrality, trustworthiness, accountability, understanding,
access to information, availability of amenities, and inclusivity.
In Trinidad and Tobago and globally, people are not only demanding not just access to
justice, but access to fair, equal, and open justice, that is also accountable in more
immediate and practical ways. Individual court users are keenly desirous of a ‘felt-sense’
of justice to be provided and experienced throughout the court process, from beginning
to end, both inside and outside of the courtroom, and in relation to all court systems and
5 Peter Jamadar and Elron Elahie, Proceeding Fairly: Report on the Extent to Which Elements of Procedural Fairness
Exist in the Court Systems of the Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (Judiciary of the Republic of
Trinidad and Tobago, 2018); Kamla Jo Braithwaite, Peter Jamadar, Trisha Dassrath, and Elron Elahie, Procedural
Fairness A Manual (Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, 2018); Elron Elahie, Reflections of an
Interested Observer: Ethnographic Musings on the Court User's Experience in T&T (Judiciary of the Republic of
Trinidad and Tobago, 2017)
6 Jamadar and Braithwaite, Exploring

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