Agreement possible? Yes – in two cases out of three!

publication date 21.04.2007

Mediation - agreement possible

A cardinal argument for mediation is the number of disputes this intelligent mode of discussing conflicts has lately helped to resolve abroad.

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A cardinal argument in support of mediation is the vast number of disputes this civilized method of negotiation has currently helped to resolve abroad … …

In countries we designate as ones of the western culture, in which mediation has already formed an organic part of the legal system, the mediation is utilized in two thirds of family, civil, labour and trade disputes.

(Let me make a short yet necessary – as it is topical -  digression here. It takes the form of a rhetorical question put freely in the air with no pretence to expecting the answer: if the jerky bargaining between the trade union representatives and the carmaker´s management in Mladá Boleslav had been brokered by an experienced mediator, would not it have ended long ago in a mutually beneficial result?)

Clearly, the branch of mediation, being not even half a century old, is still developing. Nevertheless, even today it has been unambiguously proven where this mediation way of resolving disputes should be preferably employed and where it is contraindicated. It can work well within the criminal sphere (which is still the only sphere of the system where this method is used), but also in family, labour and trade disputes. It has been showing really good results in conflicts between representatives of different ethnic groups, but also within a single communinty (neighbourly relations) and also in schools. Experience gained in utilizing the mediation methods in professional disputes, diplomacy, clerical sphere, collective bargaining between trade unions and employers is of interest as well. 

On the contrary, it holds, regardless of the sphere the conflict comes from, that mediation will not be able to produce a desirable result – which is the agreement concluded between the parties involved – if one of the parties (despite an introductory instruction) mistakes mediation with a court of justice and expects a verdict, or uses force against their partner, or is unable to conduct a productive discussion due to their pathological disposition. A mediation is a cultural means of bargaining.

Miroslav Hájek

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