Basic mediation training program focused on problem solving
The Judiciary, through its Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, under the leadership of Deputy Chief Justice, Ambeng Kandakasi, conducts the Basic Mediation Training Program at the National Court and Court Supreme of Waigani.
The Basic Mediation Training (BMST) is a practical skills-based course that anyone wishing to become a mediator is required to complete if they wish to become a mediator under the ADR rules in PNG. The course is designed using the Australian National Mediators Standard Accreditation (ANMSA). This is an intense one-week hands-on course focused on learning about the mediation process itself, the steps the mediator takes the party through, and the basic skills the mediator needs to help parties at each stage of the process.
A mediator is the process manager in the mediation process and the parties own their issues and problems. He must have certain skills to manage the process in such a way that the parties trust him enough to bring their problems to him in order to help them resolve their differences and hopefully reach a win-win result. The decision as to how to settle their problems belongs to the parties themselves and not to the mediator. It only facilitates conversation and negotiation between the parties.
Some of the necessary basic skills a mediator must possess include listening effectively, reflecting and synthesizing what he or she has heard from the party(ies), reframing what one of the parties has said to remove harmful or provocative words. Through the various exercises and role plays, the trainees put into practice the knowledge and skills they acquired during the five days of training.
Coaches will work with them to practice these skills through group role play, where everyone will take turns as a mediator while the others take on the role of the conflicting parties. After the BMST, if they have done well to the satisfaction of the trainers, they will move on to the evaluation (test or exam) where each of the trainees will play the role of mediator in a stimulated role play with the other trainees playing the role of mediator. parts in a stimulation case scenario, without the intervention and assistance of the coaches. Because the program uses the Australian Standard, the Australian training organization that runs the BMST usually hires a recognized and certified Australian assessor to observe and assess trainees in their role plays as a mediator.
Those who do well and pass their assessment will receive certificates that they have passed their BMST and are eligible to apply for accreditation under the ADR Rules 2010. All mediators start as Provisionally Accredited Mediators (PAMs) and after having Successfully completed their required five-core mediations under the supervision of Fully Accredited Mediators (FAM), they apply for full accreditation. The training and accreditation of mediators under our system is quite rigorous because we want the best quality mediators.
Not everyone who receives this training becomes a mediator. Some of them are attorneys who simply want to learn the process and skills of mediation to help their clients make good use of the mediation process and the ADR system. Others are senior government and corporate officials who want to acquire the knowledge and skills to resolve issues and conflicts within their organization.
Facilitative mediation skills are practical skills that can be used to facilitate meetings, planning and leadership retreats and other conversations to elicit constructive input from participants.
This year we have at least BMSTs planned with two delivered this month and two more later this year. If we have more interests shown, we can deliver more.
Those interested in taking this course should contact the ADR services of the National Court for more information on the application, costs and date of our next courses.
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was introduced into PNG’s formal court system following an amendment to the National Court Act in 2008 (National Court Amendment Act 2008).
This particular amendment to the law adapted and adopted the ADR Rules (ADR Rules 2010) as Procedural Laws which provide details of the operation of the ADR system in PNG.
To operationalize and operate the system in PNG, a new division with the National Courts Administration has been created. The ADR division (called ADR services) within the registry or the administration of the Court administers and pilots this system in the country. Among other things that he does according to the rules, he manages and handles all the cases that are referred to as the mediation route. He receives and refers files to accredited mediators according to the preferences of the parties or by order of the court.
ADR Services has an officially approved list of all accredited mediators, both internal and external.
The main driver for the introduction of the ADR system is the need to deal with the backlog of cases.
It is the Judiciary’s vision to dispose of up to 60 percent of cases on its civil list each year and this is the main driver of this program.