From left to right: Roman Koval, Roman Romanov, Olena Matviychuk, Oksana Zavydovska-Marchuk, Iryna Zaretska
Volyn is one of the most active regions in Ukraine to implement mediation to the court system. Presentation and press-conference on the preparatory work to train mediators and plans for the future took place in Kovel, on June 20.
In the last months, the project “Introducing mediation in court system of Volyn region as alternative method of solving conflicts” is being implemented in Kovel and Lutsk via Community Law Center supported by the International Renaissance Foundation. As the result, the mechanism of cooperation of public sector and courts using professional mediators was introduced for the first time in Volyn region. The judges from Volyn court of appeal, Kovel and Lutsk city regional courts, and Turiyskiy and Manevitskiy regional courts of Volyn oblast took part in the implementation of mediation in courts.
The series of training on court mediation prepared judges who tried to use their knowledge in such a procedure and tried to be mediators. Now, the mechanism of cooperation with each court is already in action. It takes the workload of judges, the availability of rooms and geographical position of the court into consideration so that conflicts can b solved peacefully. In the end of 2014, the work to prepare methodical recommendations on mediation procedure will start.
Olena Matviychuk, the head of Community Law Center, told that now family disputes are pending in courts for years, the decisions are not accepted by one of the sides, conflicts remain. That is why 62% of people do not trust court system, but still 82% of them will still go to court, that is why mediation should be introduced.
- It is important that we were able to find support of judges. There are many real enthusiasts who are ready to improve the legal system among them. Now we are trying to show people that our judicial system is open and ready for reforms, - Ms. Olena said.
Roman Romanov, the director of International Renaissaince Foundation “Human rights and justice” programme initiative, is looking for alternative methods of solving legal disputes so that they could be ended not only with court decision. We need to introduce such forms of solving disputes which have the least painful result for the sides. That is why mediation is the serious resource; its potential calls for recovery of lost connections, elements in social relationships of people.
- The legislation gives serious possibility to implement mediation, - Mr. Romanov thinks. – However, there is a lack of practical experience and willingness to implement such practices. I am very happy that such initiatives emerged in Volyn, that we were able to find understanding with judicial institutions, public organizations and other subjects.
Photo by: Nataliya Bimbirayte, IRC “Legal Space”
The representatives of USAID Project “Fair justice” Iryna Zaretska (advisor on legal issues) and Maryna Rudenko (advisor on the cooperation with civil society), professional mediator Roman Koval (the director of Institute of Peace and Understanding), the team of mediators consisting of lawyers, psychologists and public activists from Kovel and Lutsk were also present at the event. Representatives of public organizations and media paid their attention as well.
Mediation is solving disputes apart from courts with the help of the third party – the mediator. During the procedure of mediation, the sides of the conflicts find mutually beneficial decision on their own, based on the knowledge and experience of the mediator. The solving of dispute depends on the will of those who take part in it.