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Mediation News in Brief

On a previous blog we talked about the Ayodhya mediation regarding the title dispute over Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid the building of a Ram Temple at the Ayodhya site).

Having managed to steer some of the parties to settlement and presented the settlement to the court the court acknowledged the hard work of the mediators but noted that as there were conditions attached to the “deal” the settlement could not be regarded as final.

The Sunni Central Waqf Board had agreed to drop any arguments about its rights and interest over the land but that was subject to conditions being met by the other parties. The bench handed down a judgment saying "The settlement agreement received by this court from the mediation panel has not been agreed to or signed by all the parties to the present dispute. Moreover, it is only conditional on certain stipulations being fulfilled. Hence, the settlement cannot be treated to be a binding or concluded agreement between the parties to the dispute,"

Given where the parties started this is still a good result, and often there will be conditions in a mediated settlement, for instance a party agrees to take certain steps if they are paid is one of the more common outcomes for a mediation, or Neighbour A agrees to cut the branches off the tree if Neighbour B lets the tree surgeon on their land to assess the best approach.

Often mediated settlements set out the actions the parties agree to they don’t record that the actions have been taken, in the same way that a court may order a party to pay an amount but doesn’t oversee the payment at court.

However the collaborative approach mediation represents means it is more likely to achieve the results agreed than an order which makes a party feel like they “lost” and may well ignore.

Holmdel Township Education Association (“HTEA”) and Holmdel Board of Education (New Jersey) are due for mediation on 25th November to try and reach agreement on the change in terms and conditions, mainly the health insurance costs contribution by employees.

The board seeks a significant increase in contributions highlighting that the shortfall has to be met by tax payers, whereas the HTEA wants to reduce the amount contributed to, it’s yet again another reason we in the UK are lucky to have the NHS.

I’ve worked in companies before where we contributed to BUPA or similar private health care, but it was always a choice because we know we have the back up of the hard working staff at the NHS.

The HTEA made a point of their own power in advance of mediation by having a day of action on veteran’s day (Remembrance Day in the UK) meaning all schools affected are closed for the day, a pop up on the schools’ websites thanks the veterans and then confirms the closures.

In Uganda Justice Catherine Bamugemereire chair of the land probe commission has lauded the results of her 30 month programme of mediation “A number of cases have been resolved through mediation. The Commission has successfully piloted and tested creative methods of conflict resolution which other agencies can investigate further and mainstream…Given the overwhelming number of disputes recorded, the Commission sought to test the effectiveness of mediation as an Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR) mechanism. Through, among others exploring settlement of a few selected complaints, also known as African Dispute Resolution Mechanisms.”

The settlements included Movit Products Limited payment to evicted landowners 600m Ugandan Shillings in an agreement brokered by the land probe commission as mediator.

Bamugemereire added “We thank both sides for allowing the commission to become your medium, and to test this alternative dispute resolution. We hope this goodwill will settle the differences”.

Most people are familiar in some way with the work of ACAS and it has long established its credentials in working with both sides in an employment dispute, in the Southern District of New York employment cases are referred automatically to mediation and in this case in the town of Chester the mediation is schedule for mid December.

Loretta Streichert argues she was being paid 80% of what a man in the same position (recreation co-ordinator) would have been awarded even after she took on extra responsibilities of director for the senior citizens/recreation centre.

In addition and what no doubt finally pushed her to bring action she was not awarded the role of director for the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Centre (she alleges the male appointed scored lower than her on the civil service test paper and had advance of notice of interview dates)

Interesting article here showing the different approaches of the Canadian provinces (I don't think that's actually a maple leaf but you get the idea). The supreme court of Canada has long held that "while going to trial has long been seen as a last resort, other dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation and settlement are more likely to produce fair and just results when adjudication remains a realistic alternative.” Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7 so it’s no surprise that provinces have taken steps to ensure mediation is at the very least a consideration if not a requirement before a trial is heard.

For instance whilst Alberta won’t schedule a trial until mediation or some form of ADR has been attempted Quebec will only require the parties to consider a settlement meeting or mediation (sadly reflecting the UK’s approach in civil litigation).

As we’ve said before choose to mediate early and resolve your issues effectively, timeously, and with less stress and costs than going to your solicitor. You have an interest in the outcome the sooner you get round the mediation table the quicker you can move forward and avoid the grilling a cross examination in court would put you through.

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.

Keep control don't gamble on the court preferring your case.

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 (child and financial arrangements), 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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