Mediation in Hong Kong
Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding, private dispute resolution process in which a neutral person, the mediator, helps the parties to reach their own negotiated settlement agreement. The mediator has no power to impose a settlement. His/Her function is to overcome any impasse settlement and encourage the parties to reach an amicable settlement.
In commercial disputes an impasse most often arises from either a lack of trust in the integrity of the other party or a genuine good faith difference of opinion on the facts underlying the dispute or on the probable outcome of the case were it to go to court. The mediator may act as a shuttle diplomat and a channel for communication, by filtering out the emotional elements and allowing the parties to focus on the underlying objectives. The mediator will encourage the parties to reach an agreement themselves as opposed to having it imposed upon them.
Mediation has proven an outstandingly successful management tool for resolving difficult disputes. It is a means by which the parties can re-learn the basis of communication with which they can then resolve future disputes. This is particularly important in family disputes where invariably there are ongoing issues to be resolved including child custody among other matters.
Advantages of Mediation
- creates a supportive and constructive environment
- enables the parties to control the outcome of their dispute
- promotes communication between the parties
- time efficient and cost effective
- confidential process
- helps to teach the parties an effective way of resolving disputes through co-operative decision making
- not an imposed settlement
Hong Kong Mediation Council
The Hong Kong Mediation Council (HKMC), a division of the HKIAC, was established in 1994 with a view to promote the development and use of mediation. It is run by a committee with four active mediation interest groups in the areas of Commercial, Construction, Family and General who conducts mediation seminars, workshops and conferences to both private organizations and public bodies.
HKIAC Mediator Accreditation Committee
HKIAC Mediator Accreditation Committee's (MAC) role is to accredit mediators in the Family and General Category and to accredit Family Supervisors. Professional standards of mediators are maintained and kept under review. Training courses are also accredited by the MAC to ensure participants are taught the basic skills of mediation and that those who teach the course are properly qualified.