S/African academic proposes legalisation of mediation in Nigeria
A Professor of Law at the Stellenbosch University in South Africa David Butler has advocated for legislation in Nigeria that will promote effective use of consensual mediation in resolving disputes as against arbitrations in courts.
Butler said this at the 2014 annual lecture and reunion dinner of International Dispute Resolution Institute [IDRI] in Abuja.
Mediation is a flexible process conducted confidentially in which a neutral person actively assists parties in working towards a negotiated agreement of a dispute.
The South African academic said mediation allows parties in a dispute to be in ultimate control of the decision to settle and the terms of resolution.
According to him, the function of the mediator is helping parties to have a “difficult conversations’’ adding that mediation is a sensible alternative and necessary precursor to arbitration and litigation.
“I am convinced that mediation has a bright future as an effective method for resolving trans-border commercial disputes in Africa. Consensual mediation is the new trend as opposed to court-annexed or statutory mediation. It is more effective and resourceful,’’ he said.
He said mediation should be considered before resorting to arbitration because it saves time and costs noting that “a solution cannot be imposed and is an opportunity for an interest-based solution.”