Chief Justice Rana sees need of promoting mediation culture

Kathmandu, April 29 : Chief Justice Cholendra Shumser JB Rana has said the culture of settling disputes through mediation would help build smooth relations between the two ( disputing) parties, thus contributing to the creation of a just and peaceful society.

While inaugurating the Second National Conference of Mediators here today, the chief justice was of the view of promoting the practice of mediation which he said helped resolve disputes relatively in a short span of time and in less expense than through a court system, increasing people’s access to justice.

He insisted that public should be made aware that disputes could be resolved peacefully outside the court and there is a mechanism towards that end.
“Mediation would not only end in the peaceful settlement of disputes but also gives mutual and emotional satisfactions to dissenting parties,” the chief justice viewed, adding that institutionalisation of mediation remaining as an alternative means of settling disputes without the court’s involvement was the priority of the Supreme Court as well.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bhanubhakta Dhakal, articulated that arbitration, as an alternative way of settling disputes, would safeguard people’s right to justice. “It may take a long time to resolve disputes through the court’s intervention and mediation provides a way for the settlement by bringing disputing parties emotionally closer,” the minister viewed.

According to him, besides, it may be helpful in promoting the social harmony as well, reducing workload on the court. Stating that there remained a room for correction if any weakness was realized in the exercise of mediation, he sought contribution from all to make this system more practical and applicable.

Similarly, Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lalbabu Pandit said the exercise and promotion of mediation would automatically reduce the court’s workload with bringing down the pressure of cases. He pointed out the need of further cooperation to the local level judicial committees which are new in the domestic setting. “The Ministry continues to send multiple guidelines to the local level representatives for facilitation in judicial process.”

President of Nepal Bar Association (NBA), an umbrella organization of legal practitioners, Chandeshwor Shrestha, advised legal practitioners to give priority to mediation in course of resolving disputes. The concept that the exercise of mediation may affect the profession and business of legal practitioners prevails and it is wrong, it should be considered as one of the components of the business, instead.”

He spoke the need of awareness campaigns regarding mediation, admitting that some weaknesses prevailed in the system of mediation. President of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Bhawani Rana stated the promotion of mediation would have its positive impact on development projects, industrial infrastructure and land management fields.

SC judge and Mediation Council’s president Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada said mediation should be promoted before any case reaching the court, underlining the need of knowledge, skills and competency of mediators.
Basic concept of mediation system and status of implementation of code of

conduct of mediators, the present scenario of mediation in Nepal, achievements of so far and its challenges and future course of action are among the agenda set for discussion during the two-day gathering being attended by 153 representatives including coordinators of local judicial committees, community mediators, and court-assigned mediators.

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