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  • Ed

On yer bike!

In Rwanda resident of Karambi Cell, Muhazi Sector in Rwamagana District Yavan Nsengimana, a member of the mediation committee, commonly known as an Abunzi is well known for his mediation practice.

Sadly he often has to travel great distances by foot to do so, as he tries to ensure he hits his target of resolving any given dispute in a day.

Now the Ministry of Justice has given out free bikes to 17,941 mediators (including Nsengimana ) to help them get about.

It won’t be long before the CMC offers mediators bikes, or maybe tandems for when we’re doing co-mediations.

Nsengimana said "The bicycles will help us to reach any place on time, and the cases will not be postponed to another day… "When we invite the two sides for mediation, we task them to provide evidence, witnesses as well as supporting documents. When we find out that we need more evidence, that's when we are compelled to postpone the hearing."

He notes that sometimes he’s had to delay matters due to the distance involved and that he says is when you realise a bike is needed “Because evidence is not always readily available and we have to attend the Inteko z'Abaturage [citizen’s forum] in the afternoon, we postpone the Abunzi meeting and yet we cannot embark on another case before settling the one we have at hand"

another mediator in Cyinyana Darius Ngabonzima, added that; "Besides moving in and around our cells, sometimes we are invited to attend trainings at the sector and one has to pay a taxi-motorcycle to reach there, which is expensive"

Head of Department of Access to Justice Martine Urujeni said "Now that the mediators have bicycles will reach certain places quickly, effortlessly, without wasting time or energy."

There are also plans afoot to give forums and mediators free phone call services, now wouldn’t that make a difference to the overhead to the office?

The General Electic company is currently facing a claim that they monopolised the serving of anaesthesia machines in various US hospitals.

Reviewing the contractual obligations Judge Richard G Stearns said that mediation was just the “ticket” as the contracts contained specific ADR clauses including to deal with any allegation of anti trust (as is the case here).

Hospitals both in Texas and Alabama are pursuing GE for anti competitive practices, which GE says have no chance of success, the judge has said that GE’s application to strike out the claims can be re-heard once the mediation has proceeded.

As ever the confidential nature of mediation is attractive to businesses large and small, whether for contract breaches or unreasonable restrictions and breach of covenant as is alleged here.

At the other end of the spectrum abuse victims are being offered mediation by Judge Gregg Zive in their claims against USA gymnastics in turn USA Gymnastics have involved their insurers who would also be part of the multi-party negotiation.

Not the UK banking ombudsman but nonetheless an impressive statistic that following an increase in the number of mediations in India by nearly 25% from 2017 last year saw nearly 66% of the 164,000 complaints resolved by mediation according to the Reserve Bank of India’s Annual Report.

Now if 2/3 of complaints are solved by mediation why are we not seeing the significant increase in mediations in the UK? The techniques are the same, is it just that in India acceptance of an independent third party wanting to help is less of a strange concept than it is in the UK? Possibly, but we at Northwest Mediation can only keep telling you that mediation works!

Add to that the time saving that mediation represents as shown in the experience in Mombasa, Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Machakos, Garissa, Embu, Kakamega and Kisii in Kenya showing that 243 cases worth 3.8 billion shillings (about £28 million) have been dealt with at speed just in the first 3 months of this year. The reduction in time to a couple of months for most cases to be resolved via mediation represents a huge time saving to all businesses, and UK businesses should accept the need for mediation more.

If you want to see a natural mediator a work you missed a rare opportunity to see one, aged 8 Isabella diffused arguments (let’s not call them tantrums) with questioning and listening skills which are sure to take her far in any given career, but on this occasion helped out when she was given the reigns of Hello magazine during channel 4’s life experiment programme “When I grow Up”, no spoilers if you didn’t see this episode but she did sterling work getting the team working together again after one of her team made an unnecessary grab for glory on who decided on the photo shoot locations.

The open nature of discussions in mediation whilst remaining confidential allows all sides to engage fully in the process and understand the needs of all involved allowing parties to reach a conclusion which both sides can live with and move on.

There are so many situations which could have been resolved by early intervention of mediation it continues to surprise me the lengths the public (and some lawyers) will go to avoid referral.

Whether you need a mediator to help out with a construction matter in the Northwest, or council’s plans in Cheshire, a civil mediator in London, a commercial mediator in Manchester, a dispute resolution for your family in Liverpool, a neighbourhood mediation in Stockport, then our mediators at Northwest Mediation can help.

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 wills and probate contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; civil mediation; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation

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