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Arbitration Arbitration- Judgment Arbitration- A new horizon
Mediation is a dispute settlement method which is gaining in strength and popularity around the world, including in Israel in recent years, especially in the small claims courts and labor courts. Mediation is a process that seeks to resolve and settle disputes by means of negotiations held with the mutual consent of the parties, with close attention to and consideration of one another’s interests, aiming to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties (win-win procedure).

Mediation is performed through the auspices of a trained mediator, an independent and impartial professional who helps the parties to the dispute understand one another, see the source of the conflict from disparate points of view or differences of culture or interests, and forge a path towards its resolution with understanding and agreement.

Throughout the world, mediation has become an educational tool in an approach representing mutual respect, open-mindedness and tolerance. It has become a key issue in any progressive company today to encourage the settlement of disputes by agreement, especially in times or situations of crisis such as the current period in Israel.

What are Mediation Proceedings?
Mediation is a voluntary procedure in the course of which the parties, together with a mediator, try to pinpoint the conflict existing between them and resolve it by agreement. As distinct from a situation where judge rules in favor or one party to the detriment of the other, with the mediation approach both parties are able to benefit from the resolution of the dispute. The procedure is conducted by way of negotiation between the parties in a calm, respectful atmosphere and with the help of a mediator. The contents of the proceeding are privileged and nothing stated within the framework thereof can be used as evidence in any future legal proceeding between the parties. Where an agreement is reached, it is submitted to court to be validated as a judgment. The entire procedure depends on the full agreement of the parties and is not binding. In the event that the parties do not reach an agreement, the case is immediately returned to the court.

Who is the Mediator?
The mediator is a neutral and impartial professional who is trained and authorized in conflict resolution. He is not a judge, nor is he authorized to impose his will or position on the parties. His role is to listen to them, help define their interests and propose different solutions with a view to ending the dispute. The mediator pays close attention to the relationship between the parties and may propose a variety of creative solutions in order to contribute to the continuation of that relationship.

What are the Criteria for Being Appointed as a Mediator?
In order for a mediator to be included in the list of mediators he must fulfill three conditions prescribed in the Court Regulations (List of Mediators), 5756-1996, namely:

General Mediation (i.e. all areas of mediation except family mediation): 
  • He must complete a training course of at least 40 hours in mediation.
  • He must have a BA from an academic institute that is recognized by the Israel Council for Higher Education.
  • He must have at least five years’ experience in his professional field.
Family Mediation (personal status): 
  • He must complete a training course of at least 60 hours in family affairs or a general training course of at least 40 hours plus a supplementary course in family affairs of at least 20 hours.
  • He must have at least an MA in Psychology / Social Work / Educational Counseling.
  • He must have five years’ experience in his field of study or be registered with the Israel Bar Association and have at least five years’ experience as a practicing attorney.
How are Proceedings Conducted?
The mediator schedules meetings with the parties at their mutual convenience and may also meet with each party individually to hear the position of each. The mediator explains to the parties the nature of the proceedings and the manner in which they are conducted, allowing each party an equal opportunity to present his case, while at all times observing the proper rules of conduct and paying due attention to the other party’s position.

What is the Attorneys’ Role?
The parties’ attorneys play a key role in mediation proceedings and can help them reach an agreement. The parties may consult with their attorneys at any stage for advice on maintaining their rights and in decision making at crucial stages of the proceedings.

Advantages of the Mediation Procedure  
  • Full refund of court fees.
  • Savings in time and money.
  • Effective and immediate handling of the case.
  • The parties are able to control the outcome of the proceedings while observing privacy and confidentiality.
  • The possibility of reaching creative and flexible solutions that satisfy the true interests of the parties.
  • The parties are able to express themselves freely and openly.
  • Prevention of any escalation of the conflict and preservation of future relationship between the parties.
It is important to note that the information herein is of a general nature only. In the event of any lack of clarity or contradiction, the provisions of the law, the regulations, the directives of the President of the Court or the decision of the professional entity responsible for such matter, will prevail, all as the case may be.


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Dr. Israel Shimony
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