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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Mediation Made Simple

Mediation is a structured process comprising meetings in which an impartial individual (the mediator), without adjudicating the dispute, (1) assist the disputants to identify the issues in dispute, (2) explore and generate options, (3) communicate with one another, or/and (4) reach a settlement agreement. Criteria for settlement may include a combination of needs and wants relevant and compelling to the disputants. It is up to the disputants to decide the mediation outcome, and any settlement agreement is enforceable as a binding contract.

Confidentiality of mediation communications is a corner stone of mediation. A mediation communication is anything said or done, any document prepared or any information provided, for the purpose of, or in the course of mediation. The "without-prejudice" nature of mediation communication must not be disclosed unless permitted by the person who made the communication, or by law, or by court.

Mediation as a consensual alternative dispute resolution is relatively new in Hong Kong. A mediator can be any person, as the Hong Kong Mediation Ordinance, Cap 620 does not prescribe for any accreditation of mediators by any institutions. It is however advisable to choose a mediator who is knowledgeable in the context of the dispute.

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