15 October 2015
Fiji Times, Fiji
DISPUTES between two parties can now be solved within about one to two days with the new Mediation Centre that was opened in Suva yesterday.
Fijians now have a choice between mediation and court proceeding when looking at resolving their issues.
With effective and satisfying solutions, this form of dispute resolution process has been proven around the world, particularly in Singapore, to be the best when it comes to disagreement between two parties.
Mediation expert and Singapore Mediation Centre director George Lim said mediation had grown in Fiji and a lot of people had become interested it.
“We are very happy and privileged to be associated with it (the centre),” Mr Lim said.
Mediation, he said, was about getting people together in a confidential setting to talk about their dispute and to find a positive way to solve their problem.
He said there was a need for a give-and-take compromise, but in the end people came knowing that they had a problem and managed to solve it and move on with their lives.
Mr Lim said this process was good for individuals, consumers and businesses as well because it was quick and took up to two days to solve a dispute.
All over the world, he said, the success rate for mediation was 75 per cent which means three to four cases can be resolved within one to two days.
“This is a definite benefit for Fiji because it is a small country with less than a million people. In a small community, mediation is good because it helps preserve relationships and encourages social harmony, Mr Lim said. “This is a whole cultural shift for Fiji.”
Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Premila Kumar said they had been solving complaints through mediation with about 85 per cent success rate.
The only challenge the council had, she said, was the bigger cases and two parties that did not come to an agreement.
Mrs Kumar said having a Mediation Centre at a much higher level with a proper setting and structure was a benefit for the council and would benefit consumers faster.