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The Hindu has reported on the inauguration of the mediation training programme for judicial officers of Tiruchi district in India. Justice B. Rajendran, Judge at Madras High Court, explained the benefits of mediation and the way in which referrals can be made. The judge highlighted “active participation by the parties in terms of agreement” as the principle benefit of mediation, with no external party declaring that one party is the winner. In addition, he described mediation as a means by which both parties have a greater opportunity to be heard than when appearing before a judge. Cases referred and settles through mediation are provided with a refund of the full court fee.
Traditionally, meditative techniques are common in India, with a “headman” elected and paid for by the community leading a three member panchayat resolving the majority of local disputes before reaching litigation.
Madras High Court was the first to start the process of formal mediation in India and began training people in 2005 in Delhi, Mumbai and Allahabad. Training programmes are planned to take place in all the districts soon.
Read more here.