The European Parliament has called for the immediate launch of a new EU mediation mission "at the highest political level" to secure a peaceful outcome to the current crisis in Ukraine. This is stated in a European Parliament resolution on the outcome of the Vilnius Summit and the future of the Eastern Partnership, in particular as regards Ukraine, which was voted during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday. "[The European Parliament] calls for the immediate launch of a new, fully fledged EU mediation mission at the highest political level, to achieve, and assist in, roundtable talks between the government and the democratic opposition and civil society and to secure a peaceful outcome to the current crisis," reads the resolution. In addition, the European Parliament expresses its full solidarity "with those demonstrating for a European future; and calls on the Ukrainian authorities to fully respect people's civil rights and the fundamental freedom of assembly and peaceful protest." read
Over the last 10 years, and in the course of several Roma integration programmes, a new function or rather a professional role has emerged: the Roma mediator - a professional involved in various fields (in particular the areas of Roma integration, education, health care, employment, and residence). In this article, Éva Deák, from the Partners Hungary Foundation, provides an overview on the link between social groups, different cultures, and about results and successes in understanding and manage social conflict. read
German political scientist and expert in the post-Soviet area, Heiko Langner, commented on the situation in Georgia and Azerbaijan following the elections, the upcoming summit of the Eastern Partnership, and the prospects of settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for Vestnik Kavkaza. read
Turkey and Norway support each other on the global scene for mediation and peace efforts against crises. “Turkey will continue to work with friendly nations like Norway and international organizations to achieve regional and global peace,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday. “I usually make some analogy between international crises and earthquakes,” Davutoglu explained at an academic conference on international mediation. “Earthquakes weaken the columns of buildings, mediation is the best effort to restore these buildings.” During the conference, which hosted Norwegian academicians and Foreign Minister Borge Brende in Turkish capital Ankara, both foreign ministers addressed the audience on their countries’ efforts to mediate crises around the world over years. read
Just as they had promised, neither representatives from England’s PLR or France’s LNR attended this week’s mediation talks in Dublin, however many of their demands were still met by by the parties in attendance. Mediators Graeme Mew and Stephen Drymer today released an agreed statement following the meeting. Here are the three main issues on which a consensus was agreed . . . read
The mediation process aimed at finding a solution to the the current impasse over the future of the Heineken Cup began yesterday and will be completed this afternoon. No representative from the English Premiership Rugby (PRL), French La Ligue Nationale du Rugby (LNR) or Regional Rugby Wales attended the meeting at an undisclosed Dublin hotel. On Tuesday the Welsh regions pledged their support to the breakaway tournament proposed by the PRL and LNR. The mediation talks are being chaired by Canadian lawyer Graeme Mew. The six-member unions, including IRFU representatives, were present along with ERC chief executive Derek McGrath and its president Jean-Pierre Lux. read
Russia says it will not participate in an international arbitration process over a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship, the "Arctic Sunrise," which was seized by Moscow along with the 30 people onboard. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on October 23 that it will not take part in the arbitration because it had opted out of dispute settlements under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. read
Georgia appeals for Germany's mediation to resolve dispute with Russia, Georgia's Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Berlin on October 8. "Berlin can play a positive role in eliminating sharp corners in the relations between Georgia and Russia," Panjikidze said. According to Panjikidze, now the situation has greatly deteriorated in the zone of conflict in South Ossetia, where the process of arranging the so-called border has began, and we ask Berlin to play the role of mediator in resolving this issue with Moscow. read
In April 2013 the Dutch government published a bill for the 'modernisation of Netherlands arbitration law'. Among other things, the bill aims to ensure the continued appeal of the Netherlands Arbitration Act (1986) to international users. Some of the changes that are proposed in the bill are discussed. read
This year Belgium has already seen significant reforms in its arbitration rules. These innovative changes include the adoption of a new Arbitration Act and the adoption of new Arbitration and Mediation Rules by the Belgian Centre of Arbitration and Mediation (CEPANI). read
Scotland Can Provide Secure Forum for Global Disputes (12/06/13) John Sturrock This is a difficult time for the world as we face serious tensions in the Middle East. Thirty years ago, the situation was similar. On 1 September that year, fighter jets from the Soviet Union shot down a South Korean jumbo jet near Sakhalin Island, in the Sea of Japan, killing all 269 people on board. The Cold War was at a peak. Relations between East and West were at a low ebb.
Building Better Business Cultures (10/03/13) John Sturrock A culture shift from conflict to collaboration
is taking place, leading mediators believe, in
handling difficult situations and disputes, not only
in business but in many aspects of public life –
a development which presents fresh challenges
to the legal profession.
Mediation Demonstration - Video (7/13/13)
This full-length role-play mediation video, with explanations, was produced by O'Sullivan Solutions in February, 2013. This mediation role-play was demonstrated live in front of the faculty of law at Griffith College, Cork.
Business As Usual? Mediation and the Justice System (5/19/13) Charlie Irvine This article considers the under-use of mediation in the UK's second largest jurisdiction, Scotland. The article has three sections: a "myth buster" and two questions. The first examines three popular myths about mediation; the second addresses the question, "How does mediation add value to the justice system"; and the third presents the business case for lawyers, "Why does mediation make good business sense?"
ODR in Europe (5/18/13) Graham Ross, Marta Poblet This paper offers an overview of the present situation of ODR in Europe and discusses effective development of ODR deployments to handle online,
offline, national and cross-border disputes in Europe. To do so, we proceed by first defining the scope of ODR and reviewing existing services. We then continue by analyzing the major challenges faced by ODR in Europe and finally conclude by suggesting some future scenarios.
Survey Shows How Mediation can be Successful (4/08/13) Victoria Hall Clarks Legal LLP recently undertook a survey on workplace mediation. The survey looked at the use of mediation and what barriers there might be to the use of mediation as well as success rates and what if any further information or support might be required. 3 Comments
Liability of Counsel in International Arbitration: Any Changes? (3/29/13) Lisa Bench Nieuwveld A week ago today, it was my privilege to participate in the annual UNCITRAL/VIAC/YAAP Joint Conference, addressing hot topics in international arbitration. The conference successfully considered many key topics, including my topic, liability of counsel in international arbitrations. This topic, similar to my recent book topic (Kluwer Law International, Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration), is receiving a lot of attention with limited actual changes.
Online Dispute Resolution for Consumers (3/27/13) Pablo Cortés ODR in the consumer context refers to the use of ICT tools and methods (usually alternative to the court system) employed by businesses and consumers (B2C) to settle conflicts that arise out of economic transactions between the parties, particularly in e-commerce.
Establishing a Global ODR System for Cross-Border Online Transactions for the Sale of Goods (3/16/13) Vikki Rogers For the last couple of decades, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) experts have been creating protocols, standards and agreements for the creation of ODR systems that could resolve low-value disputes that extend beyond regional borders. To the dismay of many in this community, these various efforts never manifested into a wide-spread program offering redress to parties engaged in cross-border commercial activity.
Mediation in Healthcare in European Union (3/07/13)
HOPE has recently published a report entitled Mediation in Healthcare, which presents the results of a survey aiming at comparing the scope and methodology of conflict resolution in the healthcare sector in the different EU Member States.
The EU Museum Mediators Project (video) (3/05/13)
Eva-Kaia Vabamäe reflects on her experience as a "Museum Mediators" course participant. Afterwards, the European dimensions and challenges arise in the difficult translation of the term "Museum Mediation" to Estonian.
Mandatory Mediation under Threat in Italy (11/05/12) Matthew Rushton Parallel with Italy’s supreme court (the Court of Cassation), the Constitutional Court is the highest court and there is no avenue of appeal. While some have interpreted the ruling as the end of mandatory mediation in Italy, others believe that it is too soon to judge.
Recognition of International Arbitration in Ukraine in Figures (10/26/12) Konstantin Pilikov Arbitration practitioners often put Ukraine below the average ranking of countries in terms of recognition of arbitration. Ukraine’s image of a not-entirely arbitration-friendly jurisdiction is “promoted” because of problematic enforcement of arbitral awards in Ukraine. However, in recent years the Ukrainian legal system demonstrated significant progress in adherence to the arbitration-friendly approach. 2 Comments
UN Guide for Effective Mediation - Video (10/23/12) United Nations With armed conflicts trending upward again and proving increasingly complex, the challenges are also mounting for mediators working to resolve them through negotiations. Newly developed guidance from the United Nations can help them to succeed, providing practical advice for navigating mediation processes effectively. This video describes the 8 UN fundamental guidelines.
Swiss Parliament Initiates Review Process of the Swiss Arbitration Law (10/12/12) Matthias Scherer On 27 September 2012, the Swiss Parliament adopted a motion that had been introduced earlier this year tasking the Government to prepare a report on the Swiss Arbitration Law (chapter 12 of the Federal Act on Private International Law (PILA)). The objective of the report is to further enhance the attractiveness of Switzerland as a place of arbitration.
Peace (10/12/12) Joe Markowitz However shaky the European Union is today, whatever its deficiencies, it still deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, for its contributions to peace over decades.
Mass Claims in The Netherlands (7/23/12) Colin Rule The Dutch ‘Class Action (Financial Settlement) Act [WCAM] came into operation in the Netherlands on 27 July 2005. This post describes the rules of mass claims.
European Parliament Evolves ADR (7/16/12) Colin Rule “The Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection voted this morning on Reports concerning the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). ODR is an alternative dispute resolution process aided by online technology. This can help solve disputes especially for online purchases, where the consumer and the trader are often located far from each other. The aim of these instruments is to ensure impartial, transparent and effective means which can help consumers resolve disputes with trades in the case of both cross-border and domestic e-commerce transactions, without going to court.
Mediation or Meditation? (5/14/12) John Sturrock Much has been written about the human brain in recent times. Eolene reminded us that the brain has two components, the limbic brain, which developed as homo sapiens dealt with primitive conditions and learned the importance of fight or flight. Later, the neo-cortex, the more rational part of the brain, was formed. But the two were – and are – not united. Our emotions could still override logic, especially under pressure. We are not Mr. Spock.
U.K. Criticizes E.C.’s Proposals for Dispute Resolution for Consumers (4/24/12) Keith Seat
The U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has criticized the European Commission’s proposal for online dispute resolution of consumer disputes and proposed Directive on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumer disputes. The OFT supports the goal of increasing ADR for consumers, but urges mandatory use of ADR in many consumer cases, so that companies don’t simply refuse to participate.
European Union Moving Toward Online Dispute Resolution for Consumers (3/12/12) Keith Seat
The European Commission has set forth a detailed proposal for online dispute resolution (ODR) of consumer disputes to provide better remedies in support of cross-border e-commerce. The ODR proposal is paired with a proposed Directive on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumer disputes. Many ADR entities permit consumers to submit complaints online, but very few currently allow the entire resolution process to be handled online. Establishing ODR systems will encourage consumers to shop online across borders and permit sellers to reach broader markets. The proposal is to establish an EU-wide ODR platform accessible in all EU official languages that provides a single website for those seeking to resolve cross-border e-commerce disputes. A network of ODR facilitators will be established to provide support for the ODR platform. When a complaint is submitted, the consent of the other party will be sought and the dispute transmitted to an existing national ADR entity that will attempt to resolve the dispute within 30 days, possibly using ODR. The ADR entities will apply their own procedures and rules on cost. Confidentiality applies to the ODR process, and the ODR procedures will not deprive either consumers or sellers of their right to pursue matters in court. The timeline proposed shows adoption of the ODR Regulation and ADR Directive late in 2012, with development of the ODR platform to be completed by 2015.
EU Online Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (2/15/12) European Commission At present, the offer of ADR schemes to resolve consumer disputes related to e-commerce transactions is scattered and incomplete. In addition, while half the existing ADR schemes offer consumers the possibility of submitting their complaint online, very few offer consumers the possibility of conducting the entire procedure online. Handling the entire process online would produce time savings and ease communication between the parties.
U.K. Trying Regional Workplace Mediation Networks (2/07/12) Keith Seat
The U.K. Government announced that it is establishing two regional mediation networks for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in a pilot program to reduce workplace disputes and the number of employment tribunal cases. The mediation networks will be in Cambridge and Manchester, with mediation training of employees at 24 SMEs, as smaller companies are often not aware of the benefits of mediation and rarely use it. Trained mediators will then be able to assist other organizations in their regional network. The government is seeking a provider for the first round of mediation training. The pilot program is part of the government’s reform of the employment tribunal system; in the last two years tribunal claims have risen to 218,000, an increase of 44 percent. The program will run 12 months and expand to other areas if successful.