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UK (Scotland)

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Home > Country profiles > UK (Scotland) > Articles > Article detail

If it looks like mediation? And other ramblings….

Saturday, 1st December 2019

"What to write about this month? There is a lot on the go: General Election in the UK, Citizens Assembly in Scotland, Climate Change reports predicting the worst.

What about mediation? That is an interesting question. I have been asked recently to act as an independent third party in two significant matters where the parties (including public sector agencies) have specifically said they do not wish to call me mediator or for the process to be one of mediation. They wish to describe me as a “facilitator”. Everything else feels broadly the same, looks broadly the same and requires nearly the same approach. But without formal “position papers”, without recognising there is a “dispute” of the litigious sort, and perhaps without the expectation that I shall rigorously test the parties on their positions. It’s been interesting and, in some ways, seems to free the parties up to be more experimental, less adversarial. 

I can’t say more for reasons of confidentiality but wonder if anyone else has this experience? It does not matter much in my jurisdiction where there is no developed jurisprudence or legislation covering “mediation” but what if there was? Does the language matter? Just because we decide to call it “facilitation”, does that disapply any legal rules that may be applicable to mediation? Mind you, I often call myself a “facilitator” in workplace/management disputes already; it seems more comfortable for the parties and seems to reduce a fear of formality that even our informal process of mediation can create."

Read in full:  

Source: Core Solutions Group
Language: English
Contact: John Sturrock

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