Bringing more third parties to the table can help parties to come to a decision.
In Cambodia it is common to invite the Commune Chief to be present at the facilitation of the Commune Dispute Resolution Commitees. In refugee camps in Thailand at the Burmese border, facilitators often invite influential people to take part. They can be teachers, parents or leaders. Family Panels:In Indonesia, mediators of KBH Lampung use family panels to help parties come to a decision. These consist of one member of each parties family, who are asked to be neutral. This panel then help the parties come to a decision.
In the absence of representation, informal court judges and tribunal chairs have a difficult task. They hold the key to procedural fairness and have animportant influence on the outcome of hearings.
Hazel Genn (1993) Tribunals and Informal Justice, The Modern Law Review Limited
The following guidelines summarise how conciliators in the WorkCovercontext in Australia manage the switch from the role of facilitator toconciliator.
Signal transitions during process: During a conciliation meeting, points of transition between roles should be clearly marked. ‘My sense of the meeting so far is that we are not likely to reach agreement through discussion. As foreshadowed in my opening introduction, I now wish to move to a recommendation role …’
Transition — when exercising a formal recommendation role If agreement cannot be reached through consensus, the conciliator signals the change of role to recommendation and gives conditions of acceptance or refusal of any recommendation proposed. A justification for the recommendation is provided.
Transition — when exercising a decision-making role If agreement cannot be reached through consensus, and perhaps after attempts to get agreement by recommendation, the conciliator signals his or her intention to move toward deciding whether the dispute cannot be taken any further through conciliation. Comments are invited from all parties and discussed prior to a decision being made research findings indicate that decision-making.
Bryson, D. (1999). When wearing different hats: suggestions for ADR practice. ADR Bulletin 1(10)
Enforce the ground rules to reinforce the role of the third party as being as objective and neutral as possible.
Baylis, C., Robyn, C. (2005). Power issues in mediation. ADR Bulletin 7(8)
Because we all have a degree of influence (no matter how small) on those around us, bringing third parties to the table can help get to a decision. Looked at in this way, peers can be decision makers too, not just those who have large social power or influence.
Ury, W. (2000). The Third Side. Penguin, New York:New York
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