Saturday, November 04, 2006

Mediation law comes into effect

The law on mediation comes into effect on November 1st. Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution which means dispute-solving by means other than going to court. The main advantage of mediation is that is saves time and money.

With mediation, both parties agree to appoint a trained mediator who assists them to clarify the issues and reach a compromise solution. It is the mediator's job to establish the common ground between the two parties, looking at each of their needs, and to act as a neutral channel of communication between them.

Most types of dispute are suitable for mediation, from commercial disagreements to workplace disputes and divorce proceedings.

"We expect that mediation facilitates settlement and help the courts with stockpiled paperwork. Mediaton will also help the citizens reach settlement within a reasonable deadline," Deputy Justice Minister Sash Vasilevski said.

He added that mediation law is in the framework of comprehensive judiciary reform, which will assist Macedonia's rapprochement to European legislation.

Practical implementation of the law will start on 15 November.

The first Mediation Center will open at the Chamber of Commerce in the coming days. Meanwhile, the mediators' remuneration tariff will be specified.

A team of 60 mediators have completed the training course thus far. Mediators are tasked to facilitate settlement, not to sway decisions. Initially, mediation will be implemented in the Skopje District Court only, later in other courts in Strumica and Gostivar.

Domestic experts expect the mediation to facilitate a wide range of disputes - family dispute, commercial disagreements, corporate dispute, consumer dispute etc. The outmost objective of mediation is to ensure a low-cost settlement.

Justice Ministry unveiled an educational media campaign to inform the citizens about mediation and the positive effects.

"Implementation of this law will greatly depend on how much we will educate the citizens to make them comprehend that mediation saves time and money," Justice Ministry officials said.

Till opening of Mediation Center, where the clients will meet with mediators, the citizens can obtain information by dialing 3223306.

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