Mediation is one of the most successful ways of resolving disputes. It is an informal process in which an independent person referred to as a mediator, assists parties to reach an agreement. The role of a mediator is not to give solutions to the dispute but assist the parties to come to an agreement.
With a view to enhancing family unity and building family relations, FIDA Kenya advocates for mediation at the first instance as way of settling family concerns
Mediation now has a legal basis through our Constitution. As part of the ongoing judicial transformation, the Judiciary has embraced mediation as one of the ways or reducing the backlog of cases in court.
BENEFITS OF MEDIATION
The parties come up with their own tailor-made solutions without interference from others. It is a win-win process.
Mediation is conducted in private. It is, therefore, a confidential process. The process educates the parties to the dispute and gives them the opportunity to express their issues. It is also relatively affordable in comparison to the court process.
CHALLENGES OF MEDIATION PROCESS
Lack of trust among the participants which may lead to poor communication further complicating the process. The voluntary nature of the process means parties may choose not to attend the mediation.
IDEAL MEDIATION DISPUTES
Mediation can be used in practically all types of disputes that are not criminal in nature. These includes family disputes, child custody, and maintenance, environmental disputes, disputes involving land and inheritance. Mediation is, however, not applicable in the case of abuse, divorce or separation: where there is violence or threats of harm.
The process of mediation is as follows:
Stage 1 - Breaking Ice
The parties introduce themselves and the mediator makes an opening statement. The purpose is to establish communication between parties.
Stage 2 - Narration
Each party is given an opportunity to provide his or her perspective of the dispute or present their version of facts
Stage 3 - Determining Interests
The mediator will confirm the interests of the parties bu summarizing for each disputant his or her understanding of the dispute
Stage 4 - Setting out Issues
The mediator assists the parties to develop a list of key issues
Stage 5 - Brainstorming
Having prepared a list of issues, the mediator will encourage the parties to generate options with which they are familiar.
Stage 6 - SelectingDurable Options
The mediator will help the parties to pick realistic options for resolutions for instance by encouraging parties to choose the most objective of the options
Final Stage - Closure
The mediation will hopefully result in an agreement
Fida-Kenya conducts mediations in their three offices on a monthly basis. Parties are encouraged to visit FIDA's offices to resolve their disputes