Court Annexed Mediation
The Process and advantages
The advantage of court annexed mediation is that the judges, lawyers and litigants become participants therein, thereby giving to them a feeling that negotiated settlement is achieved by all the three actors in justice delivery system.
When a judge refers a case to the court annexed mediation service, keeping overall supervision on the process, no one would feel that the system parts with the case. The Judge would feel that he refers the case to a mediator within the system. The same lawyers who appear in a case retain their briefs and continue to represent their clients before the mediators within the same set-up. The litigants feel that they are given an opportunity to play their own participatory role in the resolution of disputes. This will also give a larger public acceptance for the process as the same time tested court system, which has acquired public confidence because of integrity and impartiality, retains its control and provides an additional service. The court is the parental institution for resolution of disputes and if ADR models are directed under court’s supervision, at least in those cases which are referred through courts, the effort of dispensing justice can become more coordinated. ADR services under the control, guidance and supervision of the court would have more authenticity and smooth acceptance. It would ensure the feeling that mediation is complimentary and not competitive with the court system. The system will get a positive and willing support from the judges who will accept mediators as an integral part of the system. If reference to mediation is made by the judge to the court annexed mediation services, the mediation process will become more expeditious and harmonized. It will also facilitate the movement of the case between the court and the mediator faster and purposeful. Again, it will facilitate reference of some issues to mediation leaving others for trial in appropriate cases. Court annexed mediation will give a feeling that court’s own interest in reducing its caseload to manageable level is furthered by mediation and therefore reference to mediation will be a willing reference. Court annexed mediation will thus provide additional tool by the same system providing continuity to the process, and above all, court will remain a central institution for the system. This will also establish a public- private partnership between the court and the community. A popular feeling that court works hand-in-hand with mediation facility will produce satisfactory and faster settlements.
Explore the Equa services when the mediators are appointed by Courts.