"Mediation is a new set of knowledge accumulated over the years for resolution of disputes, and the public has to become aware that there exists an effective method for resolution of disputes," said the Judge of the Supreme Court Zane Petersone, together with representatives of the Ministry of Justice and State Inspectorate for Protection Of Children's Rights on January 11. They informed the media about the pilot project "Free mediation of family disputes".

Within the framework of launched pilot project of family disputes (affecting the interests of children) by the Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the Council of Certified Mediators, couples will be able to visit five free sessions of certified mediators. In 2017 it is planned to involve 300 couples in pilot project, so that parents would be able to solve dispute cases initiated before the court and disputes that had not yet reached the court.

Deputy state Secretary on Court of the Ministry of Justice Irena Kucina stresses that even if there is a failure in saving the marriage, the mediation allows to solve disputes in manner that allows to maintain respectful relations between the child's parents, and ensure the further communication with each other in order to jointly agree on various issues, related to child's daily care, upbringing and education.

In turn, Zane Petersone from her work experience as a judge mentioned cases when the parties used mediation, and, although the agreement was not reached, further litigation was faster, more constructive, less emotional, and parties did not appeal against decision. The judge pointed out that most family cases involved insults and hurt accumulated over the years that could not be resolved by the court because these were not legal issues. Other methods were more useful for resolution of relationship conflicts. As an example of such situation the Judge mentioned stain cleaning – everyone has become accustomed that it is done with soap, but it turns out that it is more efficient to use a variety of stain cleaners for different stains, thus making the process more efficient and qualitative. In the same way mediation is more progressive and effective way than litigation to resolve disputes, and it is important to inform community about this fact.

Zane Petersone also noted that not only in family disputes, but in any civil dispute mediation should be used and is used. However, the actual pilot project puts emphasis specifically on family disputes.

Free consultations of certified mediators are available in several courts from 2016: in Riga City Latgale and Vidzeme District Courts, Riga District Court in Jurmala and Sigulda, Jelgava District Court, Valmiera District Court and Aizkraukle District Court, and since January 16 also in Riga Regional Court. Nevertheless services of certified mediator can be received by any party to proceedings.

In order to assess a possibility of person to receive a service, a person shall address certified mediator or Council of Certified Mediators. When dispute cases are being heard before court, the information about mediation may be asked at the court.

Infographics “Free mediation of family disputes”

 

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211