Mediation Transition In Fiji

Mediation is in transition in Fiji. This was highlighted by Jenny Seeto, Chair of the Fiji Mediation Centre while presenting on the topic Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): Mediation in Fiji
24 Jun 2018 15:21
Mediation Transition In Fiji
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber at the 2018 Top Executive Conference at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, Denarau, Nadi on June 23, 2018. Photo: Maraia Vula

Mediation is in transition in Fiji.

This was highlighted by Jenny Seeto, Chair of the Fiji Mediation Centre while presenting on the topic Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): Mediation in Fiji at the 2018 Top Executive conference.

The two-day conference attended by 200 delegates was held at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, Denarau, Nadi.

Ms Seeto said: Alternative dispute resolution, in the wider sense is the effective resolution of disputes outside court based litigation.

“Some forms of ADR include conciliation, negotiation, expert determination, arbitration and mediation.

“In doing awareness on mediation, it is obvious that people, even at leadership level are not clear about the differences between mediation and other forms of ADR particularly differences with arbitration..

“Mediation fits well into the overall theme of the conference – Change and Transition: Readiness and Resistance.”

She highlighted that the perception of the ordinary person in Fiji is that mediation is usually linked to employment and consumer disputes and grievances.

“That is why I say that mediation is in transition in Fiji with the newly established Fiji Mediation Centre.

“With every new initiative it is natural to have some resistance, perhaps due to the lack of understanding of what the change in a process etc may involve and the uncertainty of the outcome of the new initiative.

“With mediation, you will find sometimes that the costs and processes are far less burdensome than a court proceeding.

“All that is required for mediation to take place, is to change our mindset and embrace this alternative method of resolving  disputes.”

She stressed that mediation can be used on a wide range of matters.

“Mediation is easily a tool which can be incorporated in strategies for productivity and growth.

“Think of everyday conflicts in the workplace, whether to do with Human Resources matters, customer service, contract disputes etc.

“If handled properly through mediation, whether by internal or external mediators, this will nip the disputes in the bud, reduce costs and more importantly restore relationships at a much faster and less confrontational manner thus allowing organisations to spend more productive time on growing their businesses.

“At the same time, the speed and the way mediation is conducted improves the health of the organisation and wellness of the employees and better restores relationships with customers and stakeholders.

“And above all, mediation fress up the court system and is a win –win.

“The parties themselves decide on their own settlement and what is affordable.

“The outcome is not always money but its about restoring relationships or a simple apology.”

  • Over 70 matters were mediated at FMC in 2017 and 67.5 per cent of the cases were settled
  • Of cases that were settled, more than 60  per cent were concluded within one working day
  • 42 accredited mediators from around Fiji as per below:
  • Judges, Masters of the Court
  • Magistrates
  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Senior Civil Servants – Directors
  • Academics
  • Managers & Executive
  • Directors – Business Community

More than $70, 000 was raised last night during the TOPEX annual gala dinner in support of our Fiji Airways 7s men’s team to the Rugby Cup in July.

Speaking on the topic Winners never quit, Quitters never win, Fiji Airways 7s coach Gareth Baber thanked the executives for the monetary support given to the team as he was not expecting it.


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