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Mediation ‘game changer’ alternate medium of justice: CJ

Srinagar, Oct 7: Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Justice Gita Mittal on Sunday described the ‘Mediation’ as a game changer alternate medium of delivering justice and called for its optimum use by the judges and lawyers.

She said the judges and lawyers should make earnest efforts to engage the parties to take the path of mediation in addressing their issues/disputes, adding that this can also help in reducing the pendency of chronic cases.

Speaking at the valedictory session of the 3-day State-level intensive Mediation Workshop at SKICC this evening, the Chief Justice said the workshop was a great opportunity and platform for the judges and lawyers to learn latest techniques of mediation and issues related to it in a very meaningful way from the eminent experts and hoped that the experiences gained by the participants from the workshop will be practically used by every individual in their day to day functioning.

Stressing the need for organizing such programmes for the judges and lawyers on regular basis, the Chief Justice said that refresher trainings are must for everyone to hone his/her skill to enhance the capacity and capabilities to meet the emerging challenges in the field of judiciary.

Such events can be path breaking, especially for the budding judges and lawyers. She said High Court of Jammu and Kashmir is making every effort to promote a robust system of alternate dispute resolution in the State to ensure speedy justice to all.

She lauded the efforts of Mediation and Conciliation Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court for organizing this important event and bringing the experts from across the globe to train the lawyers and judges in the State in mediation skills.

She extended her gratitude to the Judges of J&K High Court for their active participation and making this workshop a grand success.

She also extended her special thanks to the Resource Persons, who have come all the way from different parts of the country and abroad for gracing the occasion and providing training to the judges and lawyers on the mediation.

Justice M K Hanjura, Member Mediation and Conciliation Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court summed up the proceedings of the workshop and conveyed his gratitude to all the participants for gracing the occasion and making this important event a success.

He conveyed his special thanks to the Chief Justice, Gita Mittal, Judge Delhi High Court, Justice Hema Kohli, Judges of J&K High Court and Resource Persons and Members of the Mediation and Conciliation Committee and all those who supported the event. He lauded the support of SKICC, Department of Information and Public Relation, Security Agencies, Department of Protocol and other agencies for coordinating in organizing the event.

This 3-day brain storming workshop at SKICC from October 5 to October 7 witnessed as many as nine extensive sessions on varied topics related to the Mediation process in the country which were conducted by the law experts of national and international repute. The experts deliberated in detail and explained to the local judges and lawyers the techniques to encourage and convince the parties to come to the negotiation table for resolving their issues/disputes through the alternate medium of Mediation.

The experts highlighted the importance of this alternate justice providing system by conducting a very effective practical ‘role play’ by judges, advocates and parties to inspire the local judges and advocates to adopt this non-conventional alternate system to provide speedy justice to the people in Jammu and Kashmir as the Mediation method is being used in many countries and majority of cases are being dealt through the process of Mediation. The speakers stressed the need for promoting and encouraging the mediation system and its optimum use to save the people from the huge cost expenses and time constraints.

On the concluding day, two sessions on the topics “Ethics” and “Case Appropriate and Inappropriate for Mediation Settlement Writing/Non-Settlement/Non-Starter” were conducted. The first session for the judges was chaired over by Justice Sanjeev Kumar while as Justice Sindhu Sharma presided over the Lawyers’ session.

The second session for the judges and Lawyers’ was presided over by Justice TashiRabstan and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur respectively. During these sessions, deliberations were held on sanctity of mediation settlement agreement, steps in writing of a settlement agreement, precautions for mediators while drafting a settlement agreement, impartiality, conflict of interests, duties to third parties etc .