This is another in a series of updates on international mediation developments by Keith Seat, Mediate.com News Editor.
International Mediation Developments
The European Council in late April adopted a Directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution and a Regulation on Online Dispute Resolution to provide E.U. consumers quick and efficient means of resolving disputes with businesses. Lexology (May 15, 2013)
A mediation network for workplace disputes has been established by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills in the U.K. as part of a one year trial in Manchester and Cambridge, before deciding whether to roll it out nationwide. Bdaily (May 13, 2013)
The Italian Constitutional Court declared Italy’s mandatory civil and commercial mediation legislation unconstitutional last October because it exceeded the scope of both the E.U. Mediation Directive (2008/52/EC) and the Italian government’s authority to adopt mediation procedures by making them mandatory. International Law Office (June 13, 2013) (Registration Required)
The Kano State Justice Sector Reform Team in Nigeria has established three Community Mediation Centres in the northern state of Kano, seeking to resolve disputes and unburden the courts. Daily Times Nigeria (June 27, 2013)
Mediation is expanding in Uganda with new mandatory mediation rules that apply to all civil actions; the Chief Justice of the Uganda Supreme Court calls for training more mediators to reduce a litigation backlog. New Vision (June 20, 2013)
Rwanda’s Kigali International Arbitration Centre is adding its first group of mediators through a commercial mediation training being conducted by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) for 24 participants. All Africa (June 17, 2013)
The Rules Board of the Department of Justice of South Africa has put out new mediation rules for comment, which the Cape Chamber of Commerce considers a favorable development; the Chamber established an African Commercial Dispute Settlement Centre last year in anticipation of the rules. Cape Business News (June 5, 2013); fin24 (May 9, 2013)
The Pakistan Mediators Association has been launched in each of the four provinces of Pakistan by mediators trained by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation to promote mediation and restore the confidence of local and foreign investors. Business Recorder (June 25, 2013)
Some 1,500 to 2,000 cases a month are being mediated in the Kerala State Mediation and Conciliation Centre in southwest India; the state has nearly 500 trained mediators. The New Indian Express (May 6, 2013)
People’s Mediators in China are grass-roots civil servants devoted to eliminating conflict and maintaining social order, with millions throughout the country and one full-time mediator per residential block of up to 2,000 households in Beijing. Global Times (June 28, 2013)
Woolworths and Coles are establishing a mediation body with the Australian Food and Grocery Council to address issues between retailers and manufacturers. Finance News Network (June 17, 2013)
Keith L. Seat is a full-time mediator and arbitrator who can effectively assist parties in resolving a wide range of telecommunications, antitrust and other commercial disputes. With over twenty years of legal experience as a mediator, arbitrator, litigator, advocate before executive branch agencies, and key staffer in the legislative and judicial branches, Mr. Seat brings a wealth of experience to his work as a mediator and arbitrator to help parties reach successful resolutions of complex disputes.
Mr. Seat began his legal career in a federal clerkship with U.S. District Judge William H. Becker, and then litigated antitrust and commercial disputes for many years at a major Washington law firm, Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White, where he first worked on telecom and technology issues. In 1993, Mr. Seat was named General Counsel of the Antitrust, Business Rights and Competition Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he served for four years, playing a significant role in the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Returning to the private sector in 1997, Mr. Seat rounded out his experience with a senior in-house counsel position at MCI, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications firms. At MCI, he gained a first-hand appreciation for the important perspective brought to issues and disputes by in-house decision-makers. Mr. Seat also deepened his knowledge of telecom issues and gained experience addressing competition-related issues in the corporate setting, as well as helping resolve disputes among large organizations.