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<xTITLE>International Mediation Developments</xTITLE>

International Mediation Developments

by Keith Seat
November 2010 Keith Seat
This is another article in a series on international mediation developments by Keith Seat,'s Mediation News Editor.

  • The Law Society of Northern Ireland, which represents 2,000 solicitors, is promoting commercial mediation to the business community as well as its own members; it also provides training to solicitors interested in becoming commercial mediators.  Belfast Telegraph (October 22, 2010)
  • Ireland’s main state mediation body, the Labour Relations Commission, cannot cope with the explosion of worker-employer disputes caused by record job losses, with filings nearly doubling since 2007.  Irish Independent (September 23, 2010)
  • The Irish Medical Council, which found 13 doctors guilty of professional misconduct last year, for the first time referred two cases to mediation with the consent of both complainant and doctor.  Irish Examiner (October 4, 2010)
  • Mediation led by a politician and shown live on television and the internet left both sides claiming that their positions had been strengthened at the end of the first day.  The dispute involves a highly controversial rail project that would demolish most of the old train station in Stuttgart, (October 22, 2010)
  • Russia has instituted financial mediation through appointment of a financial ombudsman to increase confidence in Russian banks.  Russia & India Report (October 27, 2010)
  • Rwanda is increasingly using mediation to resolve land disputes, with 75% reductions in land disputes in districts with trained local leaders.  All (October 11, 2010)
  • Facing a litigation backlog that would take 30-40 years to resolve in the courts, Sri Lanka has amended its Mediation Boards Act to increase tenfold the maximum size of cases in which mediation is mandatory.  Daily (September 28, 2010) 
  • Singapore is launching a mediation program early in 2011 covering workplace disputes of up to S$20,000 (US$15,500) by managers, executives and professionals, while larger disputes will still require litigation.  The Timaru Herald (October 23, 2010)
  • The Chief Justice of Malaysia issued a Practice Direction to the judiciary to encourage mediation, giving parties the option of free court-assisted mediation or private mediation at a set cost to the parties.  The Star Online (October 29, 2010)
  • The annual report of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner in southern Australia states that mediation for small retailers had an 80% success rate last year.  Herald (September 29, 2010)
  • The Supreme Court of the Philippines uses a mobile mediation center for simple cases that do not need counsel, including criminal cases with penalties of less than six years.  Philippine Information Agency (September 7, 2010)
  • The Supreme Court of the Philippines is awaiting a report from a mediation panel which has not yet resolved the complex land disputes between farmers and the company of the President’s family; the Court may extend the time for mediation.  Business World (October 20, 2010)
  • A Swiss mediator may face criminal charges in Colombia for financing terrorism by paying $2.5 million to the FARC to obtain the release of Ingrid Betancourt, while a Colombian senator who mediated the release of dozens of FARC hostages was ousted from the senate and banned from public office.  Colombia (October 6, 2010); New Statesman (October 8, 2010)


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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