September 21, 2023


Equality opinion

Why is Mediation Necessary?

In transient, what are the standard stages of the mediation procedure less than Nigerian legislation?

The standard levels of the mediation treatment are usually ruled by the domestic resources of legislation regulating mediation, such as the Lagos Point out Multi-Doorway Courtroom Regulation 2007 and the accompanying Lagos Condition Multi-Doorway Court docket (LMDC) Exercise Directions on Mediation, the Citizens Mediation Centre Law 2007, the Lagos Court docket of Arbitration’s (LCA) Mediation Recommendations 2011, or the parties’ walk-in approach. On situation, some condition courts may perhaps have couple polices on mediation course of action, which encourages the referral of disputes prior to these courts to mediation and other ADR techniques.

The regular phases are as follows:

  1. Graduation: The get-togethers file their claims and responses (akin to pleadings) with the establishment and pay out the essential fees for the administration of the method. When the parties wander in, the claimant presents their claim, and the administrative employees of the establishment or the unbiased mediator informs them of the acceptable fees for the carry out of the mediation.
  2. Appointment of Mediator: If no mediator was appointed by the functions prior to the submission of the dispute or instrument appointing a single, the establishment will invite parties to appoint a mediator from the panel of neutral mediators or appoint a non-detailed mediator of their selection primarily based on their agreed qualification. In some circumstances, thanks to parties’ agreement for a CEDR to mediate, the institution may possibly appoint a single.
  3. Preliminary Meeting: This is the mediator’s to start with assembly with the get-togethers. Throughout the assembly, the spot, time, attendees and other information are reviewed and agreed on. Ordinarily, the mediator will get the parties’ representatives in attendance to affirm in composing that they are duly authorised to achieve a binding agreement.
  4. Opening Session: This is the initial stage of the precise mediation session, all through which the parties and their respective counsel (if any) go over the triggers of the disagreement.
  5. Private Caucus: At this step, the mediator convenes a non-public session with every single social gathering outside of the listening to of the other events. The aim of this phase is to permit functions to existing to the mediator all pertinent details that they deem private and that need to not be disclosed to the opposing party.
  6. Joint Discussion Stage: This is when the negotiation is resumed, and the mediator supplies events with professional hints and enables parties to discuss how to attain an amicable resolution.
  7. Abide by-up Phase: If a settlement has not been obtained, in this period the mediator follows up with the functions and their respective counsel (if any) and urges them to contemplate other settlement choices.
What rewards do these have to provide to organisations involved in a dispute?

The normal reward of mediation to organisations and parties is largely hinged on the point that it will save parties’ time and reduces big attorney’s costs when when compared with continuing with other dispute resolution models. In most situations it preserves and from time to time improves their small business relationships. It also cuts down their litigation or arbitration docket for functions of audit.

You have suggested that mediation be addressed as a prerequisite for other types of ADR. Why is this?

The over-all gains of mediation to organisations are not able to be overemphasised. It is confidential, as parties signal non-disclosure varieties relating to all challenges that arise through mediation. As pointed out over, it will save parties’ time and minimises the astronomical attorney’s costs linked with other different conflict resolution strategies. It also enhances parties’ organization relationships most of the time. I often see parties stroll out of mediation and continue their business connection, but I have yet to see that right after litigation or arbitration.

The general positive aspects of mediation to organisations are not able to be overemphasised.

As a bash representative who has settled a conflict by using mediation in a day, I would strongly recommend that events originally have interaction in the mediation course of action. In this situation, we experienced spent all around two many years in court docket exchanging pleadings and other papers. Surprisingly, on the pretty initially working day the situation was listened to in court, the judge, in his good wisdom, purchased the get-togethers to participate in mediation. The conflict was resolved at the conclusion of the 1st preliminary assembly, which resulted only on the issuance of an apology letter and a refund of a nominal court filing fees.

Furthermore, I have served as a mediator to solve a seven-year-lengthy dispute applying the parties’ walk-in technique. All sides were glad and encouraged to discover further small business chances.

Consequently, I would advise functions to consider mediation initially due to the fact it is less high-priced, casual, private, will save time, encourages party autonomy and improves small business interactions.

Acquiring acted as a mediator and a mediation consultant in situations involving substantial organisations, how does the size of an organisation influence the way mediation is carried out?
  1. Conclusion-Producing: Not like unique folks, large organisations participating in mediation acquire longer to undertake a resolution on a specific concern, which will most likely extend the mediation approach. In addition, the chosen agent will report to the management, which will then discussion on the make a difference and approve a resolution the representative will then publish these kinds of resolutions at the up coming session just before communicating it to the mediator.
  2. Modifications in Management: Organisations periodically adjust their administration by appointing new members as a consequence of retirement or removing, or by reorganising their workers internally via demotion and promotion. Regardless of the circumstance, this incident could impede the progress of the mediation session and the execution of agreed-upon agreements.
Have you viewed any major trends or variations acquiring in the mediation landscape through the past decade?

Sure, unquestionably. Get-togethers and attorneys are commencing to get mediation very seriously owing to its considerable advantageous affect in the area of dispute resolution. I have actively engaged in the preparing of a couple intricate agreements for events and have observed parties negotiating dispute resolution conditions in which mediation was instructed to be provided as a 1st move in a multi-tiered dispute resolution clause. Once in a while, when a conflict crystallises, parties choose mediation over other choice dispute resolution selections.

I would advise get-togethers to think about mediation very first due to the fact it is much less costly, informal, confidential, will save time, encourages occasion autonomy and improves small business relationships.

Interestingly, the most important ADR legislation in Nigeria is the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, Cap. A18, LFN 2004, which applies countrywide. Arbitration and conciliation are presented for in this Act, but mediation is not significantly emphasised. Now, however, there is a regulation pending presidential acceptance that would repeal the aforementioned statute, which now expressly incorporates mediation. The proposed legislation is the Arbitration and Mediation Act of 2022. In addition, it aims to include the Singapore convention into global settlement agreements rising from mediation.

Can you share any other insights that you have acquired into ADR throughout your vocation?

In my expertise as an ADR-properly trained practitioner and pro, I have realised that it is more productive and gratifying if we stimulate folks and corporations to invest much more methods in preventing and managing conflicts somewhat than investing much more cash and work in looking for to “win” them. As a lot as attainable, disputes should be averted relatively than be authorized to take place and then settled. This realisation was thanks to the immense sources necessary and the repercussions of antagonistic relationships throughout and right after the resolution process. You can only stay away from these by recognising the likely sources of conflict and using the important authorized precautions to prevent them. There are a good deal of seminars and conferences on strategies and types to resolve disputes but there are several on conflict avoidance ideas. The planet would be a greater area if we avoided and minimised the quantity of disputes in small business relationships.

As a result, our lawmakers, judiciary, lawyers, and other stakeholders need to aid events in adopting proactive steps in this respect.

Underneath what situations may it be additional suitable to forgo mediation in favor of another dispute resolution model, these kinds of as arbitration?

Not each individual conflict can be mediated, just as not each individual dispute can be arbitrated. Examples of this include disputes involving a) an accusation of a public offence b) an illegal contract c) tax-connected disagreements. From time to time, get-togethers specifically insist that they do not want to carry on with mediation. You are not able to coerce mediation from parties it has to be voluntary.

Apart from the foregoing, I believe that mediation may be utilised in acceptable conditions.


Azubike Okoye

520 Valencia Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134, Miami, Florida

Tel: +1-786-737-7351



Azubike Okoye is an accredited Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Uk Primary Dispute, Uk the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators, and the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand. He also holds a Grasp of Rules (LLM) diploma in Intercontinental Arbitration from the University of Miami College of Regulation.

Azubike was awarded an undergraduate advantage-based mostly scholarship for his tutorial standing by the then Federal Authorities of Nigeria. He was also awarded a Younger ICCA (Global Council for Industrial Arbitration) whole tuition scholarship for his academic and qualified qualifications in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Azubike has beforehand worked with F.O. Akinrele & Co., a top rated-tier full-provider dispute resolution company led by three quintessential Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) – the equal of Queen’s Counsel – wherever he rose through the ranks to be develop into a Senior Affiliate and team lead in the dispute resolution section of the firm for in excess of a ten years. Throughout his master’s software, Azubike labored as a practicum scholar with an International Arbitration regulation agency, GST LLP in Miami, Florida.