The National- Monday, February 7, 2011
INTERNATIONAL Fi- nance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is helping to provide the public and business community in PNG with a way to resolve disputes more quickly, cost effectively and on good terms by helping the national and supreme courts progress court-annexed mediation in the country.
IFC executive vice president and CEO Lars Thunell paid a visit last Friday to the national and supreme courts’ alternative dispute resolution (ADR) centre in Waigani and met with judges involved in the mediation process.
Thunell said in an IFC-issued statement last Friday that “mediation is a confidential and informal way of resolving a dispute between parties, with the help of a neutral third person—a mediator. Parties are referred by a court to participate in mediation. The mediator works with them to help reach a mutually beneficial and lasting solution and avoid lengthy and costly court proceedings”.
“Mediation is a good way to resolve disputes because it can save time and money.
“The court-referred mediation programme will contribute to legal stability and help improve PNG’s investment climate, allowing businesses to grow and create jobs.”
ADR chairman, Justice Ambeng Kandakasi told the meeting between Thunell and the hierarchy of the PNG high courts that since the launch of the country’s mediation rules last June, more than 100 mediations have been completed.
He said the IFC has partnered with the National Court and appointed the judiciary’s ADR committee, which is now chaired by Justice Kandakasi, “to help develop the mediation rules, support training of the first group of 18 mediators with Australian and PNG accreditation, and deliver public-awareness workshops. IFC’s assistance is supported by the governments of Australia, Japan, and New Zealand”.
Kandakasi said mediation is an important development and peace-making tool to the people and the legal system, adding that it is enabling the court to help parties resolve disputes fairly and quickly.