With the advent of increased litigation in the European Union, mediation has increasingly been used to resolve disputes more and more. After the passage of the EU Mediation Directive in 2008, participating Member States had until March 2011 to implement it, thus increasing the frequency of using mediation to solve disputes. While across the EU there was significant expertise in mediation, there was not widespread competency in mediation skills across all the EU Member States. Mediators from capital cities held the most expertise in mediation, amounting to only a small group of mediators able to lead the sophisticated mediations arising both domestically in EU Member States and across borders. The training of mediators occurred in small areas (capital cities) and did not provide for widespread coverage. The use of mediation continued to increase as more litigants used alternative dispute resolution to solve their legal issues. In order to create better access to justice for the litigants, additional mediators needed to be trained, both in domestic and cross-border techniques, in the participating EU Member States. More mediators lead to lower costs and greater benefits for the potential participants in the mediation process.
The goal of this project was to help bridge the gap between and among European mediators as they strived to understand the country-specific aspects of mediation as practiced across Europe. This project focused on training lawyers to become mediators, in both a domestic and a cross-border context and on developing the materials for future mediation training programs. The goals of this project were: (1) to bring training programs to a variety of secondary cities located in participating Member States by designing in-person and online training programs, (2) to design training and general mediation information materials, (3) to design train-the-trainers programs, which enabled mediators to teach other legal professionals the skills and knowledge necessary to become mediators. This program prepared EU mediators to meet the new challenges associated with dispute resolution.
Designed and developed a complete Mediation Training Manual for future mediation mediation trainers to allow the independent creation and execution of mediation trainings for a variety of audiences across the EU. The manual was created as a comprehensive trainer’s toolkit, with eight sections containing tools to help instructors in each phase of a training program. These tools included training agendas, PowerPoint charts and instructors notes, exercises/simulations/case studies, hand-outs, checklists, and a variety of articles, to assist independent trainers in the execution of a successful and impactful training program.