The National- Tuesday, January 25, 2011
THE National and Supreme Court registrar Ian Augerea has clarified that the Chief Justice does not have a role to play in deciding any mediation processes to solve civil cases brought to the National Court.
This means the decisions to order any civil case filed in court to go to mediation was an independent legal decision made by the National Court or a Judge of the National Court.
In 2009 the Chief Justice appointed Justice Ambeng Kandakasi as the judge administrator of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR)/mediation court track in the National Court.
Kandakasi was also appointed the chairman of the ADR committee.
The committee comprises judges, lawyers and national judicial services secretariat (NJSS) management.
This has placed Kandakasi in the position to lead mediation processes on any cases arising in the National Court, if there was a need.
An order for mediation was to be made by a judge either by agreement of the parties or on the court’s discretion, given the situation at hand.
According to the National Court Act, a judge may order mediation in an individual case and conduct mediation if he/she is an accredited mediator under the mediation rules.
The mediation is conducted in private and the mediator is immune from suit for anything done, or said, during the mediation.
Although there was no provision in the National Court Act or the mediation rules for mediation of multiple cases by different or separate parties in the National Court involving similar interests and issues, if all parties to the different cases agree to a consolidated mediation of the cases involving the same, or similar interests and issues, the court making the mediation order may in its discretion arrange for a collective mediation process to commence.
This means the mediation for all LNG project matters would go ahead after the court peruses on the terms of reference delivered.