Friday, November 20, 2015

Mediation in South Africa

Mediation is not a new concept in South Africa, however it is an under utilized mechanism in the field of dispute resolution.

There are obviously many factors that contributes to the current status of mediation, but one of the main reasons for this is probably ignorance and stigma. People in general are reluctant to consider that many disputes can be resolved without having to go to court. Many may feel that they “want their day in court“. A family member was recently involved in a motor vehicle accident. Someone smashed into the back of her vehicle and then drove off. This obviously constitutes a crime in South Africa and accordingly criminal charges were laid. I was then ask by this person if I knew any good lawyers that can handle the civil claim for damages. I then suggested that she first consider using a mediator, but she didn’t want anything to do with it, because she “wanted to have her day in court“. Sad, but true!
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