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Mediation News (Cats and Catholics)

It was only the other week I blogged about the success of mediators in dealing with veterinary bills now this week sees the appointment of the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) as the mediator for “cat related” issues with the Singapore Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

I confess I’m no fan of cats - being the unrelenting killers of birdlife and wreckers of the carefully dug flower bed, veg patch and lawn, but I know there are those who think that felines are friendly and ideal pets for all, so I’ll try to keep my comments neutral.

AVA is Singapore’s first response team (like the UK’s RSPCA) for animal related issues. Their work is with councils and animal welfare groups as well as academics and other government agencies where appropriate.

The AVA has for the last three years been working with CWS to promote responsible cat feeding and ownership, Group Director, of the Animal Management Group, AVA, Ms Jessica Kwok said

“CWS is a valued partner in our efforts to promote animal welfare and responsible pet ownership. They play an active role in supporting us to manage cat-related issues on the ground. Given their track record in the use of mediation to mitigate cat-related issues, we are happy to extend our partnership with them. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with CWS,”

In response CWS’ executive director Ms Laura Ann Meranda, said "We welcome this opportunity to partner AVA and support them in their response to cat-related issues and feedback in Singapore. As a non-profit organisation that has always stood at the forefront of advocating the humane management of cats, this partnership is an acknowledgment of the work that we do and reaffirms the Government's support of mediation as a preferred means to resolve cat-related disputes in the community."

"We expect that there will be increased costs in sterilisation as well as community engagement and outreach from this scope of work so we hope that the public will continue to support us in this ground breaking endeavour. Together we believe that we can achieve the twin goals of humane management of the community cat population and responsible cat ownership,"

Should you wish to support the CWS’ work and their cat related mediation their Facebook page will take you to the methods of donations to help with cat sterilisation, welfare for cats at risk and humane trapping methods.

Meanwhile, back with people, a new mediation centre run by Dodds’ SolicitorsAshwin Topiwala has opened in Leicester.

The centre claims to be the first of its type to offer mediation for family and businesses to resolve issues without going to court.

I suspect this claim may not be wholly accurate given the significant number of mediators in the midlands, which may explain why I can no longer find the link to the article to provide more information on the news. However the opening of any mediation service whether in addition or as a new opportunity is good news.

The sisters are accused of race discrimination and have been criticised already for their lack of attention to the court case out of which the mediation arises.

As is so often the case with religious institutions the sisters argue the state’s human relation commission has no jurisdiction because of the religious nature of the school making it a private enterprise. The sisters further allege the case has only been brought to test the extent of the PHRC to Catholic institutions of higher education.

Kathleen Spigelmyer, spokesperson for the college said "At all times throughout this process, the College has acted only to ensure that a full and fair hearing of all the facts would be presented, and the College acted only for that purpose," adding "It remains our priority today."

The College has already lost at state level and ducked out of taking the matter to the US Supreme Court, with Carol Jean Vale, College President, saying "Although we found strong legal precedent to support an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, it is our judgment, that a public hearing is best for all involved,"

She added "Thank you for your continued interest in this matter and your patience as we sought clarification from the Courts concerning the proper jurisdiction for the case to be heard."

The commission’s jurisdiction is in fact activated by the refusal to take the matter to the Supreme Court and now a mediation has been set up for the end of June between the student who filed the original complaint, Allan-Michael Meads and the College.

Meads is alleged to have stolen funds following a performance by the school’s theatre department in 2012 in which he was director, he was expelled shortly before graduation.

A public hearing will follow if no settlement is reached.

Finally we’re in Belarus this week where Minsk is holding its third annual Minsk Mediation Fest.

The event on the 17 and 18 May 2018 will be hosted by the Johannes Rau International Education Center in Minsk and the Russian State Social University (Minsk branch) attendees will include over 250 conflict resolution specialists and mediators from around the world, sadly Northwest Mediation’s invite did not arrive in time to allow for work to be re-arranged.

Belarus enshrined mediation into the legal system in 2013 for employment, family and financial disputes, eventually the UK will catch up.

The theme this year is the family and restorative mediation and will have on open forum for discussion on techniques and emerging practices.

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 (whether a cat is involved or not), 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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