Encouraging news for all mediators out there this week in Singapore reports now show that around 70% of divorce cases which were referred to mediation settled via the process with no contested hearing.
We keep telling people it’s better to go to mediation but empirical evidence is always far more reliable.
Singapore has in place simplified processes and support schemes as well as willing and able staff and judges who encourage the process.
Justice Debbie Ong of the Family justice Court said that even in cases where the resolution wasn’t total there were less issues to be tried by the time mediated cases came to court. She added there "will always be the possibility of mediation or non-litigious resolution at all stages in the divorce process."
As Northwest Mediation previously reported Singapore is bringing online mediation into practice to continue the excellent ground work done so far by the mediation services.
Referring to the online dispute resolution (ODR) process Justice Ong said "It is envisaged that ODR will help parties to resolve their child maintenance claims earlier and with less costs, ultimately benefiting the children”.
In a move similar to the Australian experience we reported on last week Singapore also intends to use similar processes for protecting elderly and vulnerable court users.
Raymond Yeo a Singapore family lawyer said: "Mediation has always been the forefront where family court is concerned, because this will be the alternative route to an adversarial approach. The family lawyers work together with the family court to try and resolve as many disputes as possible through the mediation process." We can only endorse those comments.
A state of emergency was declared by President Abdulla Yameen last month and he refused an invitation to multi-party talks by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and instead cracked down on activists including his on half brother and ex-presidents Maumoon Abdul Gavoom, and Mohamed Nasheed.
Nasheed and Gayoom are part of the opposition alliance who have taken this step had previously worked with Emmerson as he was part of their pro bono legal team (which also includes Amal Clooney).
Gayoom has since been charged with treason.
The President has also intervened to release prisoners, arrest judges and suspend parliament’s ability to impeach him. Meanwhile Gayoom’s daughter (minister for health) Dunya Maumoom resigned saying "Today at this time of pain and crisis for both my family and my country, it is my sincere hope to see my father home at the earliest"
The Council of EU has called on Yameen to end the emergency measures and said "The current situation is not in accordance with the principles of democratic rule and separation of powers…If the situation does not improve, the Council may therefore consider targeted measures."
Yameen has already warned India from intervening in his country’s affairs, which include the imprisoning of any and all opposition leaders the President is able to locate.
One can only hope that between the threatened sanctions and mediation a resolution for all involved in the previously idyllic country can be reached.
The dispute is over whether schools in the City of Richwood will remain open, those for the schools board a set on closing the local schools and the opposition (mainly residents and parents) unsurprisingly want to keep the local schools open.
Following a flood in 2016 the board wants to see consolidation of schools into the Nicholas County High School in Glade Creek, the parents associations and opposition want the schools rebuilt.
This is not just an ideological dispute there is in the mix a huge grant of federal relief emergency funds intended for the schools’ reconstruction from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
It’s FEMA who have started the mediation process whose stated aims are to reach a decision “of which FEMA funding program to seek out; an evaluation and narrowing of rebuilding locations; a determination of school configurations, sizes and curricular offerings; along with a resolution of disagreements between the county board and the state board.”
It is expected that the mediation will be broken into four stages, familiar to most mediators; an introductory step, a fact finding and exploration process , challenging and helping the parties consider positions and finally negotiating an agreement.
Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it can help with any dispute whether it's an employment issue or the sale at an under value of a property, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes or inheritance arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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