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International Mediation Developments - May 2013

by Keith Seat
May 2013 Keith Seat
This is another in a series of articles on international mediation and ADR updates from News Editor, Keith Seat.

  • Peru is increasing mediation efforts and relying less on repressive police tactics in dealing with disputes over mining and energy projects; 24 people have died in social conflicts in the last two years.  Euronews (April 24, 2013)
  • Trinidad and Tobago launched a court-annexed mediation pilot project in which 200 randomly selected Civil High Court matters will be referred to mediation.  Newsday (March 7, 2013)
  • The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR), supported by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, will hold its first business mediation conference in BrazilBrazilian-American Chamber of Commerce (April 19, 2013)
  • A constitutional crisis between judges and the Government in Ireland has been defused by agreement on mediation to address disputes over pay cuts and reforms that had become increasingly bitter.  Irish Examiner (April 17, 2013)
  • The U.K. Intellectual Property Office has modernized its Mediation Service to help small businesses and others resolve IP disputes.  Fresh Business Thinking (March 21, 2013); Economia (March 22, 2013)
  • Disputes between public authorities and private parties are excluded from the E.U. Mediation Directive, so mediation programs for such disputes differ from country to country and must be encouraged at the national level.  Public Service Review: Europe - Issue 25 (April 16, 2013) 
  • South Africa is proposing mandatory court mediation and is increasing pressure on parties to mediate, which is drawing more mediation expertise and programs into the country, including mediation of construction and property disputes.  Bizcommunity (April 17, 2013)
  • The Supreme Commercial Court of Russia is continuing to seek approval of its court mediation initiative, which in addition to mediators would use retired judges as court “reconciliators.”  Rapsi News (April 5, 2013)
  • The Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution is providing trainings in commercial mediation to help position Bahrain as a leading provider of alternative dispute resolution in its region.  AME Info (April 10, 2013); Bahrain News Agency (April 24, 2013)
  • Pakistan is working with the International Finance Corporation to establish mediation in the Islamabad region in order to help boost contract enforcement.  The News International (April 16, 2013)
  • Mediation committees in Mumbai and Karachi have been proposed to resolve grievances of importers and exporters between India and PakistanThe International News (April 17, 2013)
  • Sri Lanka is relying on traditional mediation boards to address the significant rise in commercial and financial disputes as business recovers from 26 years of civil war; areas affected by the war are adding mediation boards to the 309 that exist in the country, which have resolved over 2 million disputes in the past two decades.  The Diplomat.Com (March 30, 2013)
  • The six main telecommunications service providers in Hong Kong have joined a Customer Complaint Settlement Scheme, using mediation to keep service disputes out of the judicial system.  Cellular-News (April 3, 2013)
  • The Philippines has enacted a Mandatory Conciliation-Mediation Law, which provides that all labor and employment issues are subject to mandatory conciliation-mediation unless a party opts out.  Weekend Balita (April 28, 2013)
  • The Department of Trade and Industry in the Philippines is using mediation to address consumer complaints, with a goal of resolution within seven days.  Sun Star (March 16, 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.

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