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Mediation in action

Whether it’s your phone company, international neighbours, the police or even your morning brew mediation is at work everywhere.

Over in San Francisco coffee shop owners, including BP and Starbucks are set to attend mediation.

The reason behind the mediation is that these are two of the coffee sellers who have yet to comply with state legislation to put a cancer warning on the side of each cup.

Not only are they non-recyclable cups but their contents are said to be carcinogenic according to a case brought in 2010 by the Council for Education and Research in Toxics (CERT) to enforce the placing of warnings in accordance with Proposition 65 (a state law requiring any retailer to warn of any potential cancer risk of a product).

To date 13 coffee houses have begun pasting the warnings but others are refusing, they argue that the traces of acrylamide (formed during bean roasting) have not been definitively shown to have any link to cancer.

The mediation took place on the 8th of February with the parties going back to court later in the month to report on the outcome.

Meanwhile on the West Bank in the middle east the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked for the help of India’s premier, Narendra Modi, that he wants to future mediations for the Israeli-Palestinian dispute to be multi national and not “run” by the US.

Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit a Palestinian enclave in the occupied west bank, while in Ramallah he promised $41 million for three schools hospitals and other projects and whilst he said he was "committed to Palestinian national rights” he didn’t take up Abbas’ request to offer an alternate mediator. Before taking a tour of the Yasser Arafat museum Modi laid a wreath on Arafat’s tomb. Arafat was Abbas’ predecessor.

Modi may himself have been trying to pour oil on troubled waters after hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January as relations between India and Israel warm.

For some considerable time the US has been the mediator in the dispute but following Northwest Mediation’s favourite wannabe mediator Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Palestine no longer wishes to accept the monopoly of the US as mediator. Freedom of choice in your mediator is one of the basic pillars of mediation, not that we expect the Donald to understand that and we await his twitter-spat when someone tells him what is happening.

Abbas has asked countries in Europe and across the Arab nations to intervene and prevent the US’ continued dominance in the mediator role. Whilst European leaders have criticised Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem no country has offered an alternative for the position….yet.

Abbas said after the visit that "We never have and never will reject negotiations…We consider a multi-lateral mechanism that emerges from an international peace conference as the ideal way to sponsor the negotiations….Here we count on India, with its status as a great power, its historical role in the non-aligned movement and in international forums ... to achieve a just peace,"

Israel still refuses to accept any international offer of assistance and remains resolute that only the US can act as mediator.

One of the other pillars of mediator is that your mediator is impartial, and Trump’s acceptance of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is unfortunately a flagrant breach of that rule as it is taken by the rest of the world as an obvious sign of bias in favour of Israel.

Earlier this week Abbas met with Russian Premier Vladimir Putin to repeat his position, no doubt hoping that Putin’s alleged and much investigated relationship with Trump might come into play.

The time also ran a report this week regarding the cost efficiency of mediation as opposed to litigation. Reporting on the Civil Justice Council’s proposals, see previous blogs. Although there is one glaring error that the role of mediator is almost always “a judge or a barrister”, don’t believe everything you read is the lesson. Many mediators have a legal background but it isn’t necessary nor does it apply to all (and certainly they are not always wig-wearers)

Meanwhile the French equivalent to Ofcom (CSA) has asked for mediation between TF1 and Orange who are in dispute over carriage fees.

CSA has said it is on hand to “support and facilitate” mediation in the interests of viewers and the companies. TF1 has soght damages against Orange for continuing to show its channels despite no agreement on what fees were to be paid.

Finally this week in the fantastically named city of Medicine Hat (Alberta Canada) the police and the city have entered mediation in an attempt to end a 12 month stale mate in contract negotiations. HR manage for the city James Will said both sides were actively participating but declined to say anything further.

Stacey Kesler, Medicine Hat Police Association president also refused to make any comment while the process was ongoing, and yes I only put Stacey in because of the job title.

The dispute arose when the city’s contract with the Medicine Hat Police Association ended in 2016 leaving 114 members on pay freeze. There are four other public servant contracts also facing a freeze until further notice so that the city could meet its financial goals, but the firefighters, powerplant workers, powerline staff and transit workers all include a gradual pay increase in the following years.

Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it can help with any dispute whether it's with a service provider, neighbour, an employment issue, the sale at an under value of a property, family issues, commercial disputes or inheritance arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance mediation; property mediator;

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