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  • Ed

Migrant Crisis Mediation

I think it’s well known I’m no fan of the Commander of Cheese so it won’t take you as a shock that I find his approach to immigration nothing short of inhuman, the recent photograph of the father and daughter Oscar Alberto Martinez and Angie Valeria bringing home to many the desperation of those trying to gain access to the US.

And although it’s difficult to say I’m pleased to report the move by District Judge Dolly M. Gee to order the federal government into mediation over the condition in the detention centres it is at least more pleasing than nothing being done about the ongoing migrant crisis in the Americas.

The order comes in a class action case of 80 claimants and follows an order last week for a temporary restraining arising from the discovery by monitors of the disgusting conditions the children were in, including denial of access to food and cleaning.

The court already acknowledged that the Customs and Border forces have breached the Flores Agreement which deals with the treatment of children migrants and to have in place a comprehensive plan (something sadly lacking in most of the areas focused on during the soon to end Trump era).

A monitor has been appointed by the court and that monitor has now also been given the power to mediate between the parties to reach an agreement of conditions and/or report back to court on progress.

As with many mediations the people directly affected (in this case the kids) don’t care how a resolution is reached just that one is reached sooner rather than later, and given the delays faced in court proceedings mediation has to be the right way forward.

Further heartening news on mediation comes from Scotland where the Expert Group on Mediation in Civil Justice has “launched” a report that argues for the greater use of mediation showing its benefits to the public and the court system and argues there are wider benefits for the economy.

John Sturrock QC co-chair of the group said: “In particular we note that mediation is consistent with the aspirations of the National Performance Framework and, more generally, with a society in which people are valued, relationships are enhanced, choices are made by those most affected, constructive solutions are sought for difficult problems and financial and other resources are wisely deployed.”

Scottish Mediation’s chair Alun Thomas added “We have no doubt that the recommendations in this report sit well with a civilised and forward-looking approach to our country’s future.”

For the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations John Downie said: “SCVO welcomes this report as a catalyst to making the justice system more inclusive, accessible and affordable...People and communities throughout Scotland, especially the most vulnerable, find the civil justice system difficult to access and expensive. As a result, people are often put off turning to the courts to get the justice they deserve...A culture change, normalising the use of mediation in the civil justice system, alongside the concrete ways the report recommends to achieve this goal, will ensure mediation is accessible to third sector organisations and the people they support.”

As it is above of Hadrian's wall so it is below (I know it's not the actual border anymore).

I mentioned last week that I found the idea of mediators advising a bit of an oxymoron crossing the line between mediation and arbitration and now comes guidance from the Texas appeal court in Star Elec., Inc. v. Northpark Office Tower, LP, No. 01-17-00364-CV, 2019 WL 2094328 (Tex. App. May 14, 2019)

The case is a basic contract dispute which was thought to have been resolved when the parties asked the mediator to determine the outcome, and become arbitrator. But the language of the settlement agreement was ambiguous so the warning comes that if both parties ask a mediator to settle their dispute (and I would steer well clear of such a request) the informed consent of both parties must be recorded for the agreement to be binding.

All Northwest Mediation settlement agreements are agreements reached by mediation of the parties and the effect is to have a binding contract which the parties have voluntarily entered into and are therefore enforceable as contracts not as judgments by an arbitrator.

An update on Norway’s mediation efforts to resolve the ongoing arguments about election results in Venezuela.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido remains of the opinion there should be an early election for president while President Maduro was rather more positive about the talks saying he wants the dialogue to continue.

The stalemate caused by the arguments and Guaido’s failed military coup have led to 10% of the population of the country fleeing, which brings us back to our first article today given where some of them may be fleeing to.

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, wills and probate arguments 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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