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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Non war related mediation news

With the limited access to courts and lawyers mediation is even more so now than ever the best choice to find a resolution for your dispute. Get your dispute resolved now while you can’t go anywhere you can really concentrate on what’s important and what deserves your time and energy.

Northwest Mediation continues to use Zoom, Skype and FaceTime as well as the phone and emails to resolve disputes so please do not feel that you cannot contact us if you would like to mediate but wish to do so remotely.

There’s a whole load of international mediation news with everyone from China to Israel continuing to offer mediation between the invading Russians and Ukraine but I’ll leave that alone this week in the hope that next week there will be better news.

Over in Knoxville Tennessee there has been a dispute brought by parents requiring the removal of mandates for mask wearing in schools. They have brought the case against Knox County Schools, Governor Bill Lee and the Knox County Board of Education (KCBE).

Now the court in the form of Federal Judge Ronnie Greer has given the parties 60 days to mediate the dispute and find a workable solution for everyone.

Three children have already successfully sued the KCBE et al, to ensure there is a mask mandate the new claims rather ignorantly suggest that forcing the minimal inconvenience of mask wearing to protect the few is the equivalent of making everyone play wheelchair basketball because one child is in a wheelchair. It is in the financial interest of all to find a workable solution, but I tend to think health before wealth.

In mediation one remains neutral but as I’m not involved I can freely say that I’d rather masks were still mandated here - as I type this thanks to (not my) Prime Minister’s decision to put politics before safety the numbers of covid cases are on the rise in the UK as are the numbers of patients in hospital with covid and inevitably that means an increase in death (even if we are below the “usual mortality” numbers that’s not actually a comfort if you or your loved one dies).

It was International Women’s day this week so here is an article on the increase role of women in peace negotiations (yes the “don’t mentioning the war” didn’t last long did it?). It’s interesting to note that men remain the most involved in peace negotiations despite (in the main) being the responsible for decision to start conflict and not necessarily the best at bringing peace.

Is a war monger, or less dramatically, a general trained to think about “the enemy”, to strategise attacks based on nothing other than defeat of the other party actually going to be any use when it comes to finding a workable solution? Not really, and that most of those people involved in peace talks (7/10 times) remain men due (as described on the article by Sanam Anderlini) gender stereotyping and other blockages to women taking part that I won’t quote here ‘cos you should read the article isn’t surprising but it should be addressed.

The explosion (sorry) of online mediation has helped in this regard in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Philippines, Syria. And with that, according to this article, comes a reduction in personal risks and travel problems which so the article suggests are in part responsible for the lack of women in peace talks.

I have to tread carefully as I know some women who are brilliant peace negotiators so whilst it may be the case there aren’t as many as there are men the blockages to women taking part haven’t prevents everyone, however, I appreciate that their successes are probably inspite of the gender bias of the job and that anything we can do to level the battlefield is well worth doing.

What the article definitely gets right is that at the participant end those with the most are likely to have better access to technology and in the majority of patriarchal societies that means those involved as participants are still likely to remain men. Technology only takes us so far.

Having mentioned Libya and indeed women kin peace talks I should say that Stephanie Williams is the UN’s top official in Libya and has offered to mediate between the two opposing sides.

The offer comes as a parallel government has been sworn in, the eastern based parliament is in direct opposition to the PM Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.

Stephanie warned that the solution to the country’s problems is not to have rival governments, which can only prolong problems, but to form a joint committee of 12 people (6 from each faction) to lead reform on constitutional framework. In December elections were abandoned due to wrangling over the legality or basis of any process and the PM was only sworn in by the UN on the basis he lead the way up to the elections. As the elections didn’t occur the eastern alliance sought to put their own candidate in place leading to the newly formed eastern based government.

I often think when I’m mediating for families, businesses or neighbours that most of us should count our blessings to not be at immediate and constant risk of harm and sometimes it’s hard not to make comment, quite how you manage to mediate when so many lives are in the balance I would not pretend to know but I wish all international mediators well in seeking peaceful resolutions to all ongoing conflicts.

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary, it’s confidential, the mediator is independent, by using those pillars to support your work the parties keep control, save costs, save time and energy and reduce stress.

In person or via electronic media 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 so you can get out choose a different path, not quite the road less travelled but perhaps the path less adversarial. 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.

There are so many situations which could have been resolved by early intervention of mediation it continues to surprise me the lengths the public 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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