On December 14, 2019, 14 December was declared as a day dedicated to the profession of mediator. This week, Mediation Week was celebrated for the second time in Georgia.
GEORGIA TODAY spoke with the Chairman of the Mediators Association of Georgia, Irakli Kandashvili.
“Mediation is a new word in the Georgian reality, an unprecedented reform in the last decade which gives the sides in a dispute the chance to decide an existing conflict between themselves,” Kandashvili notes. “The last two years were full of challenges for new associations and mediators, but it can be said that the Mediators Association of Georgia coped with all the difficulties with dignity, and we were able to take a number of effective steps that will be a prerequisite for the development of the profession, all designed for the development and future of the profession,” he added.
Tell us what activities were carried out.
The introduction of a new profession and its institutional recognition needs the solid infrastructural arrangement of the organization, as well as an increase in awareness and reliability. Over these two years, we have made effective steps in this direction by setting up a solid working environment in an office.
With the involvement of foreign experts, we were also able to develop European standards for entering the mediation profession. This results in increasing public confidence in the qualification of persons in the profession.
We also developed a Code of Professional Ethics of European standards, and a procedure for disciplinary proceedings, as well as agreeing on annual professional development courses for mediators.
Society knows that they will be able to communicate with mediators that entered the profession on the basis of high professional standards, who will be trained annually and whose activities will be based on ethical standards.
We have further implemented a mediation online remote production platform despite the background of the global pandemic- the right and most efficient step in the development of the profession.
The priority for the Association is to increase the awareness of mediation in society, and a Memorandum of Cooperation has been signed in this direction with representatives of the public and private sectors, with whose support the process and establishment of mediation will be successful in Georgia. Among them is the priority of introducing training in mediation as a dispute alternative mechanism in medium and higher education institutions, and it can be said with pride that we introduced mediation in the ninth grade text-book in September 2021, and in three universities Mediation is a mandatory subject, and in almost all other legal faculties it is an elective subject.
In 2021, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development, we have established an important international forum for ‘Mediation for Business’ and ‘Mediation for Lawyers,’ that is held annually and field specialists have a platform where ongoing news and practice in the field of mediation can be introduced.
Why is mediation distinguished from other dispute resolution mechanisms?
Mediation represents the only mechanism of dispute resolution which allows the parties to be able to achieve mutual agreement. With development of mediation, a culture of reasonable dialogue and social peace are being introduced to Georgia.
I will take advantage of your newspaper and once again wish each mediator on their Professional Day professional success, and ask them to keep in mind that the good name, reliability and collective reputation of our profession is standing, and that today’s professional activities are tomorrow’s day of the mediation profession!