By CHARLES MOI
The number of cases referred to and resolved by mediation in PNG is steadily increasing each year, a judge says.
Justice Ambeng Kandakasi told delegates at a Pacific Judicial Conference in Port Moresby last Thursday that the increase was due to some judges consistently requiring parties to use mediation and ADRs (Alternative Dispute Resolutions) to resolve their disputes.
“Since its formal adoption and use of court-annexed ADR with focus on meditation in 2010, more than 1000 cases have been resolved by mediation (or) other forms of ADR,” Kandakasi said.
He said it was becoming predictable for most parties that they would be directed to settle through direct or facilitated negotiations or a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Kandakasi said that PNG had 105 mediators who were accredited in PNG and Australia.
“Out of that, 27 are fully accredited and 79 are provisionally accredited,” he said.
“Programmes are well now in place to help get 79 provisionally accredited mediators to fully accredited mediators through a uniquely PNG idea of co-mediating with experienced mediators in real cases.”
“Through a dedicated and focused working of at least five out of the 27 fully accredited mediators, we have been able to dispose of more cases here in PNG by mediation and ADR committee with more than 80 per cent to 90 per cent success rate.”
These cases include disputes identified in the course of mediating in cases in court such as those in the extractive industry like LNG cases.
“The chief justice (Sir Salamo Injia) has directed the ADR committee to focus more on this programme with a view to getting the remaining 79 provisionally accredited mediators to full accreditation by or before the end of the year,” Kandakasi said.
Apart from judicial duties, Kandakasi chairs the PNG Judiciary’s ADR committee overseeing the development and successful implementation of court-annexed ADR and mediation in PNG.
By CHARLES MOI