Mediation Congresses 

November, 2005 - María Gertrudis Hernández-Palacios

In the past days, two very important events at the Regional and National Level, honored the ADR mechanisms, specifically the mediation and arbitration proceedings. We refer to the First Central American Congress on Mediation and Arbitration organized by the Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce and the Third National Congress on Mediation organized by the Office of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Division (DIRAC) of the Supreme Court of Justice. In both Congresses, the main topic was the analysis and discussion of the recently approved Law 540: Law on Mediation and Arbitration. Both events called an impressive number of assistants, which without any doubt constitutes a reflection of two very interesting situations: first the waked up interest on mediation and arbitration topics; and second is that for the first time, we observed lawyers and entrepreneurs sharing protagonism in the mediation scenario. The reason of this sharing is closely related to the application of the arbitration to commercial disputes as an international trend. No matter what the reason is, the fact to agglutinate lawyers and entrepreneurs by a same cause: to promote the use of the ADR mechanisms, being this mediation or arbitration, was highly positive not only for the consolidation of such mechanisms, but also in the sense that both groups perceived from their realities and interests the increased need to solve their disputes through such mechanisms. In spite of these positive lessons resulting from both Congresses, it was evidenced the need to retake with more concrete and efficient guidelines, the training aspect in Mediation and Arbitration, according to their election. Also, although an advance exists with regard to the promotion and familiarity with the existence of such topics, the ignorance of technical aspects of the same was evident, it is to say, confusion in concepts, principles, objectives, stages and own techniques of each process. Under this perspective, I consider that the next step to be taken, for the mediation as well as for arbitration must be oriented towards the planning of seminars, workshops, courses establishing a Standard plan of content as of necessary minimum hours for the certification of mediators and arbitrators. We can affirm that in the country, the ADR mechanisms are in the process of structuring and design the trainings. It is to say, we have passed with good results the first stage of promotion, introduction, and presentation of the mediation and arbitration mechanisms and have initiated the second stage of professional formation in which we need to be equipped with professional dully trained and certified in the selected mechanism in order to guarantee ethical and effective professional services, satisfying not only the expectations and needs of its users but that justify its reason of being: alternative, expedite, efficient means of disputes resolution.



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