In Community mediation, mediation is provided by trained community mediators who represent the community. Community mediation mechanisms are viewed as an opportunity for citizens to participate in the prevention and early intervention of conflicts as an alternative to institutional mechanisms. The mission is to provide neutral and safe dispute resolution opportunities through which individuals are empowered to work collaboratively to develop creative and mutually agreeable solutions to conflicts. Community mediation reduces legal interference into conflict situations. Thus it promotes social harmony and access to justice for the ordinary citizen against the background of escalating legal fees and lengthy litigation process.
Disputes can be registered with the Clinic by one of the parties or through referrals from courts, police, community organizations, civic groups, religious institutions, government agencies, community leaders or from any of the party’s friends or family members.
The request will be registered on a small registration fee and the clinic would nominate a mediator and issue an invitation to the opposite side to participate in the mediation. The clinic would arrange the dates based on the convenience of parties and fix the meeting.
The mediation process is totally voluntary and the parties are free to abandon the same at their option. But if the parties are able to come to an agreement on their differences or disputes, the mediator would help them to enter into a settlement agreement, which will have the same status of a final decree of the civil court (as per the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996).
The whole process of mediation would be confidential and no records as to the proceedings of mediation will be maintained, except the mediation agreement, if reached.
The key advantages of IIAM Mediation Clinics:
Mediation is available to assist in resolving disputes at any stage in their development. The goal is to mediate the dispute before it escalates into violence and before legal action has been taken.
Since the mediators are members of the community, it gives easy and friendly approach to the parties and gives an added edge of knowing the cultural and local backgrounds.
Mediation sessions are held in the communities in which the dispute occurred, to reinforce the message that the community can develop its own solutions.
Mediation is accessible to everyone in the community regardless of their ability to pay. Mediation services may be offered at no cost or for a sliding fee.
Integrating the concept of “Elder Mediation”, which provides an opportunity to explore creative solutions that address a broad range of decisions and conflicts that affect an elder’s life. Since the elder is often able to participate in the mediation process, either directly or with the assistance of a representative, the elder’s dignity is preserved by having an active voice in the choices that are made and resolving the conflict in a confidential and safe environment.
Community mediation programs through the Clinics develop public awareness about mediation and conflict, often including conflict resolution training.
IIAM Community Mediation Service is endorsed by the International Mediation Institute (IMI) at the Hague and IIAM would be implementing the IMI Code of Conduct and ethical norms for mediators, which would provide high standards and credibility for the mediation clinics and its processes.
For more details on IIAM Community Mediation Service