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International efforts for Mediation

It’s all international mediation news this week.

The big two (China and the US) and fifty two other countries are prepared to sign a treaty which will make enforcing mediation settlements across borders easier.

As we are forced by a minority government to move towards little Britain mentality it is good to see that other countries recognise that making sure mediation works across borders is incredibly important.

“These are large economies. They have very big investments overseas, and I think they understand the significance of making sure that there are international rules-based mechanisms for dealing with disputes" said Singapore's Home Affairs and Law Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam

Unfortunately the EU block wasn’t represented on the list as they have to determine if they need to sign as the EU or as individual member states, member states are already bound by various directives on mediation.

The convention plugs the hole between the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements and the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and applies to any commercial mediation settlement reached, all signature countries will be obliged to enforce mediated agreements in court as if they were court orders.

President Abdelkader Bensalah of Algeria has set up a mediation team to deal with the political crisis.

Importantly according to the president the members “enjoy credibility, competency and acceptability among the people, as they have no party affiliation or electoral ambition” as they are not from the ruling political class or the military.

You remember we spoke last week about the importance of impartiality in mediation? You only need to look at Bojo’s utterly pitiful attempts to be impartial in northern Ireland to see how taking the leader of one faction out to dinner can implicitly (if not explicitly) suggest bias.

In respect of Rohingya repatriation Japan has offered to mediate between Bangladesh and Myanmar in Tokyo.

Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen responding to the offer said “We have just received the offer, we will discuss it in our internal forum and then take decision,” but later added “Japanese Foreign Minister will go to Naypyidaw tomorrow and he will talk with Myanmar government on behalf of Bangladesh’s demand to take back Rohingya as soon as possible…We told Japan that extremism may grow if Rohingya repatriation does not start soon and so for the safety of their huge investments in both countries this crisis should be solved.”

Taro Kono, Japanese foreign minister, was on a three day visit to Bangladesh when he made the offer as he visited the Rohingya camps in the Cox’s bazar district.

Admitting Japan had a vested interest on helping both sides Kono said “Japan has huge investments in both Myanmar including its Rakhine state and Bangladesh, they [Japan] are interested to solve the Rohingya crisis as it’s vital for peace and stability in the whole region”

Arguing that the Myanmar government needed to confirm the rights of Rohingya refugees as citizens a Rohingya representative said the government “have still not agreed to amend the controversial 1982 Citizenship Law to provide citizenship rights to Rohingya and they want us to return as new migrants or newcomers”.

We reported previously on mediation efforts at the Dartmouth College (New Hampshire) to mediate with former students regarding their claims for damages arising from the abuse by former lecturers Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whelan. The Claimants say the College knew for many years about the actions of the individuals (all of whom have since left the College) but did nothing to prevent the abuse continuing.

The period for mediation which began last week has now been extended by agreement of the parties as they progress to a working solution for all involved.

Judge Landya McCafferty granted an extension of the stay of proceedings to the middle of august.

The request which was field on behalf of both parties stated that “The parties’ efforts to resolve this case have not yet concluded…The parties wish to continue focusing on the negotiations, and do not wish to divert their attention to the litigation filings that will be due imminently if the stay is lifted.”

Diane Lawrence for the college said “We would much prefer to reach a mutually acceptable conclusion to the case outside of the litigation process”

Mediation in the very far Northwest and in the ongoing pay dispute between the state and ferry workers in Alaska mediation efforts continue in an attempt to bring an end to the strike action.

The Alaska Marine Highway System is a state owned service which provides vital transport links for over 30 communities in the US’ most northerly state.

The last report is that after twenty hours of talks the parties were to be back in mediation the next day.

By having a deep and meaningful discussions with parties the mediator elicits what the true “red-lines” are and where there is the potential for compromise, it is with this structured period of reflection that the parties are then able to reach an accord.

The flexible nature of mediation and the possible outcomes make it an ideal way to resolve disputes in an ever changing world and 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, civil mediation 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 wills probate mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation


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