The art of mediation
The process of mediation is gaining ground and leading to successful outcomes. Preliminary statistics regarding mediations that were brought before the Family Court in 2016 indicate that 42 percent ended in agreement.
This was said by Mark Attard Montalto, the Chairman of the Mediation Centre in a recent interview with Voice of the Workers.
He said that this success is being reflected not only in the Family Court but also in the civil, commercial and industrial sectors.
Mark Attard Montalto said that, instead of going to Court one can resolve disagreements through alternative means. One can either resort to the process of mediation or arbitration.
The difference is that in the process of arbitration there is an arbitrator involved who can pass a decision and so has adjudicatory authority while in a mediation the mediator’s job is to bring the parties together to come to a solution and an agreement.
Dr Attard Montalto said that the outcome of a mediation is as valid as a public contract. “If you have a formal mediation you will have an executive title, that is you will have a document that is as valid as a notarial contract”, said the Chairman of the Mediation Centre.
He added that the benefits of mediation are extensive and said that the public is not yet aware or has not fully appreciated the advantages of mediation. Other than the fact that mediation in discussions are without prejudice and are confidential, the benefits extend to the fact that one can also interrupt any prescription period stated in the laws of Malta. This is the case when a mediation is brought to the Centre of Mediation.
Another advantage is tied to the expenses involved. Dr. Attard Montalto explained that each party pays up to a maximum of €120 and the mediator’s fee.
There is also the element of flexibility that gives the parties the right to come up with creative agreements. If they do not come to an agreement in some areas they can still come to an agreement in other areas and leave one or two points pending.
Thus, a big problem is reduced to a smaller one. It could be that the parties agree on all points as when there are good intentions on both sides and an expert mediator who is technically knowledgeable about the matter in question this can lead to the parties reaching full agreement.