Learning the experience of the Netherlands School of Mediation and expanding the practical skills of a mediator

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On February 13, 2021, within the framework of the grant project “Mediation: Training and Society Transformation”, a four-day online training for masters-mediators of the EPP “Mediation” of Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University began its work. It is conducting by the recognized European guru of mediation, mediator and at the same time the rector of the Netherlands Business Academy Jan van Zwieten. The participants of the training are 15 law students studying at the EPP “Mediation”, two teachers of the Department of Public Law, providing several disciplines of this program Oksana Melenko and Lidiia Nesterenko and a recent graduate of the Mediation specialization, and now a practitioner Olena Shcherbakova. Jan van Zwieten knows very well the legal market and the specifics of making and executing court decisions not only in the Netherlands but also in Ukraine. Therefore, it is not surprising that communication with practicing and future lawyers-mediators in one way or another was conducted around the mutual advantages of the professions of lawyer and mediator. For the training participants – students, this is an important element of training within the framework of the EPP “Mediation”.

The training participants had an excellent opportunity to evaluate the non-standard approach of the professor and practicing mediator to the understanding and use of resources in mediation, power, and distribution of forces of the parties, the advantages of such distribution and disadvantages. At the same time, Jan van Zwieten noted the famous Dutch proverb “Every disadvantage has an advantage.”

The extraordinary interpretation by the coach of the ratio of both concepts and techniques of mediation and Coaching deserves special attention, which immediately gave rise to many questions among the training participants: possible directions of interaction between professional coaches and mediators, how can these specialists be useful to each other? How effective will coaching be if the person is experiencing internal conflict? In what cases most often does the coach abandon the process and at what stage of coaching? The mediator should be empathic, there is empathy in coaching on the part of the coach, and does this not affect the effectiveness of this process? What tools and technologies of coaching are most effective in the Mediation process?

One of the most important aspects of the training that began, in our opinion, is that it provides an opportunity to look at the process of adapting mediation into the everyday life of Ukraine through the prism of more than 25 years of experience in the Netherlands, where, as in Ukraine, the initiative was in the hands of mediators, pioneer enthusiasts. There are now more than 3,000 active registered mediators in the Netherlands, more than 200,000 official mediations, and even more unofficial ones. Also interesting is the fact that more than 30,000 people have taken mediation courses and use these skills in their daily work as judges, attorneys, notaries, managers, financial analysts, and the like.

I hope that even after the first day of the training, the participants understood that any challenge, including the lack of legal regulation of mediation at this stage of Ukraine’s development, is an excellent opportunity for a new start and new horizons.

Ruslana Havrylyuk,
Manager of the MEDIATS project group   
from CHNU

“The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”