Mediation Settlement Week by courts commendable

Monday December 4 2017

After leading the Supreme Court in the hearing and determination of two presidential poll petitions in three months, Chief Justice David Maraga will launch the first ever Mediation Settlement Week on Monday.

This is an important event for the public, Judiciary and advocates.

A settlement week provides timely and cost-effective justice. Possibly, some cases will be resolved by reaching agreements before Friday.

It is encouraging to note that a number of accredited mediators, most of them advocates, will take part in the event.

Courts are traditionally known to settle disputes through litigation.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

However, the Constitution also provides for alternative forms of dispute resolution. They include mediation, arbitration and reconciliation.

It is against that constitutional underpinning that a mediation settlement system known as Court Annexed Mediation Project has been running on a pilot basis within the Family and Commercial divisions of the High Court since April last year. Disputes filed from that time have been subjected to screening and some referred for mediation.

The week-long event, therefore, presents an excellent opportunity for the Judiciary to understand the prevalence of use of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism.

WANGA PAUL, Nairobi.