The course is a 92-hour course designed to take place on an 11 day intensive training taught in English. The course’s maximum number of attendees will be of 30 people. At all times, at least 2 trainers/lecturers will be present for the training sessions/lectures. (If only one lecturer is appointed for a specific course, there will be at least one other co-lecturer appointed to provide assistance where necessary).
Full attendance is required from each participant. If a participant cannot attend 100% of the courses, this will be recorded and these records can be requested by the recognizing mediation centers. In case of a valid reason (illness or urgent unforeseen circumstances), participants will be given the possibility to catch up missed courses in a next training session (the next training session is provisionally scheduled for January 2011 in Brussels). The overall responsible trainer for the mediation courses is Johan Billiet (BBMC-accredited mediator).
The course is divided in two parts;
The first part of the course (five days – 42 hours) is designed based on the assessment criteria of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and will be jointly taught by two (CIARB and CEDR) accredited mediators. This part focuses mainly on practical trainings (e.g. by means of role games) and aims to introduce participants to the second part of the course, which provides further theoretical insights in the practical experiences.
During the first part, elaboration will be made on:
the Theory of mediation; agreements to mediate; case summaries; arrangements before, for end at the mediation; what makes a good settlement, drafting the settlement agreement; why mediation works; giving and receiving feedback; review of assessment competencies; working with emotion; building empathy; creative solutions – “expanding the pie”; use of flip chart; working with an assistant; breaking deadlock and dealing with your own “deadlock”; the mediator’s introduction in the opening joint meeting; managing nerves; managing energy and developing a reflective practice; role of lawyers, experts, parties; discussion on the issues around practicing mediation in other jurisdictions; regular review of learning points, difficulties, questions, clarifications; decision making – the psychology of decision making, managing fear; managing resistance prom parties; the steps in the mediation process; interventions in specific situations; negotiation skills; communication skills; mediation skills; recognition of contra-indications; recognizing abuses of mediation; building a trust relationship; separating contents and relations; identifying interests of parties; identifying and explaining differences in perspectives; creative search for solutions; offering structures; guardian of power balances between parties; explaining and dealing with “impasses/deadlocks”; respecting procedural aspects of mediation; conducting sessions with parties individually; communication skills; skills of listening and posing questions; summarizing and defining; insights in intervisions, supervision and consultation. These skills will be assessed in practice (e.g. through conducting and analyzing moot mediations).
The second part of the course (six days – 50,5 hours) is especially designed to ensure that the overall course meets all the additional criterions imposed by the mediation centers that recognized the course. There is a list of mediation centers that recognize this course and where course participants (in case of successful assessment) can apply for accreditation. This part elaborates on theoretical aspects and is taught both by academics and accredited mediators. The second part of the course will also put an emphasis on particularities of contract laws, civil and commercial aspects and European cross-border mediation in civil and commercial matters.
In the second part, elaboration will be made on:
theories of mediation and other forms of ADR; theory of communications; communications between parties in a conflict; methods of negotiations; conditions for mediation; the mediation process (e.g. phases); drafting a mediation report; procedure of drafting an establishment agreement; creativity for conflict management; power and influencing; legality and reciprocity; impartiality and neutrality; indications and contra-indications for mediation; rules and codes of conduct of the recognizing mediation centers; ethical dilemmas for mediation; legal skills (place of mediation, status and importance of mediation agreements, the status of interim and final reports in mediations, knowledge regarding confidentiality and secrecy, professional liabilities of mediators, the status of a determination agreement); general mediation principles (ethics and philosophies); analytical forms of conflict resolutions; national mediation acts in Europe (e.g. differences between voluntary and judicial mediation, recognized and non-recognized mediators, confidentiality, legal aid, ethics, etc.); sociologic aspects of mediation; psychological aspects of mediation (communication and negotiation methods); the mediation procedure; functions of mediators; differences between informing and advising; external advisors; interventions (e.g. caucus); theory of conflicts; theory and practice of reasoned negotiations; theory and practice of European national contract laws; function of party-advisors; function of party-experts; and development of a basis behavior (respect, trust, servitude, reliability, interest for people and their problems, passion for process support, tolerance, ambiguity, and neutrality). This knowledge will be assessed at the last day of the course by means of a written exam.
The main objective of the course is to provide a theoretical and practical understanding of civil and commercial mediation in Europe, by offering a full basic course. The organizers and attendees acknowledge and strive to respect the general criteria established by the different countries and the collaborating mediation centers. The course content has been tailored with a strong awareness of civil and commercial cross border disputes. Attendees will be able to conduct mediation among parties of different nationalities and for several mediation centers in the EU.