Branch Focus - Bahamas

A row of buildings in the Bahamas

CIArb Bahamas Branch is located in Nassau, New Providence, one of 700 Islands in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

The Bahamian system of law and government is based on the Westminster Model, which entails cooperation between the Executive, Parliament, and the Judiciary. It is governed by the principle of separation of powers as articulated in the Constitution of The Bahamas. As such, the country’s legislative and judicial background is modeled after the United Kingdom and the Bahamas is widely recognised as a Common law jurisdiction.

The Bahamas is a world-renowned destination for tourism and cruise ships and has established industries in finance, agriculture, fisheries, cement-manufacturing, oil refining and transshipment, salt production, rum distilling, aragonite, and manufacturing of spiral-welded steel pipe. Grand Bahama Island is the Bahamas' industrial, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and maritime center, with one of the largest Container Port facilities in the world.

Since the birth of the CIArb Bahamas Branch in 2011, it has been involved in marketing and organizing CIArb's globally recognized ADR courses, programs, webinars for students and practitioners, networking with other institutions and thereby creating a following with its loyal members at the Branch and global level. It has also built relationships with the Bahamas Bar Association, the Judiciary, Legislation Department, the Industries, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Government Departments.

The Branch's current membership consists of 121 professional members, including leading ADR practitioners both domestic and international, and at least 20 Fellow Chartered Institute of Arbitrator practitioners.

The CIArb Bahamas Branch Members have played the important role of mentors to encourage values and standards in the profession, diversity, and inclusion, which are amongst the fundamental foundations of the Branch’s philosophy.

Interview with Rengin Johnson Chair CIArb Bahamas Branch, MS

1. What do you want to see in your Branch this year?

I would like to see the continued use of virtual communication that allowed the Chair to meet with the Executive Committee Members, connect with CIArb HQ, other Branches' events and courses, and to conduct the Branch's affairs. It is also important that we create an annual calendar with events, courses and training to attract members, especially introductory courses. We must look to interact and collaborate with other Branches and institutions on a more frequent basis.

By adopting a virtual platform, we are providing members with convenience, saving time and travel expenses to take courses and train globally and this will encourage diversity and increase membership and the ADR courses which are made available.  The Branch must continue its efforts to organize educational events and make them available to all its members.  We must also continue to increase the number of Fellows from the current total of 20 practitioners who are trained in Arbitration, Mediation, and Adjudication. 

2. How will you implement and deliver success?

By strategy and adequate planning to create a successful dynamic teamwork amongst the Branch members. We must also collaborate with other Branches and institutions and devise collective policies to provide the best pathway forward. The Branch’s aim is to provide approved courses and tutors who can, in turn, give quality presentations in courses and training. The Branch shall succeed by promoting a good reputation, top training, and best practice by adhering strictly to ethics and professional conduct.

3. How will you use or expand social networking? How have you used social networking?

The Branch has been expanding by social networking, joining groups, being active in social media, diversifying, building links, broadening its knowledge, and nurturing global relationships. The Branch has access to other Branches and institutions regarding new legislation in ADR courses, and training styles. Social networking has been a valuable tool for the current Chair and the members to contact other Branches and create positive relationships by supporting their events and articles.

In 2019, we started an Annual Newsletter titled Adjudicator, which has been very successful in presenting our history, the patrons, the chairs, executive members, articles by our members and our global guests, etc. We are very proud to share our Adjudicator newsletter with others. Our past Chair, Cherise Cox-Nottage, created the Adjudicator Newsletter 1. The Adjudicator Newsletter 3, 2021-2022, will feature many articles, including our former CIArb Presidents Ann Ryan Robertson and Professor Sundra Rajoo (2016), and remarks from our Senator and Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr. Michael B. Halkitis.

4. What have you done to engage younger members/students?

On an annual basis, the Branch includes in the Executive Committee a Youth Chair to foster closer relations with younger members. Furthermore, the Branch promotes approved introductory courses in Arbitration and Mediation to the younger members and students. In addition, all Branch events include involvement by younger members and students. During, 2021 the Branch has provided ADR courses on two separate occasions on a pro bono basis to the law students, including subjects such as negotiation, job and business opportunities with ADR. The newly qualified students are encouraged to gain experience through a mentorship, including in the events, and to participate in role plays to gain confidence and expertise.

5. How will you communicate more effectively with your members?

CIArb Bahamas Branch communicates with all its members through social media, emails, monthly meetings with the Executive Committee, and quarterly virtual meetings with all the members, seeking their input. The Chair also shares the links of all the global events from CIArb and its Branches. The members' voice assists the Chair and the Branch in creating unity, loyalty and helping to promote the Branch, CIArb, and ADR courses and training. In addition, the Branch creates events to meet in person with the members in compliance with COVID-19 protocols and to maintain fellowship.

6. Do you have a social media presence as a Branch? (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)?

The Bahamas Branch has a social presence through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and messaging groups with The Bahamas Branch members, and other groups such as legislative ADR, legislative committee, etc. Further, the Branch also advertises its events and courses on the CIArb calendar, and through articles in the local newspapers, and TV news. When the global calendar is published, the Branch shall advertise its courses, and also support other Branches courses and interact. The Branch has extended its presence globally to support the family of CIArb and will continue to adopt and promote high-quality ADR courses, and assist as a Branch with CIArb’s reputation as a top-quality institution.