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Court-led mediation gains traction, may be expanded

A court-led mediation system being tested in four townships in Nay Pyi Taw and Bago Region is registering modest success, and plans are afoot to expand it to other parts of the country, a senior regional court official said.

Mandalay Region High Court Chief Justice U Soe Thein said the mediation system promises to free courts and litigants from tedious court trials that can drag on for years.

In March, the Supreme Court began piloting the system in Nay Pyi Taw’s Tatkon township court and Dekkhinathiri district court, as well as in Taungoo township and district courts in Bago.

“With the help of a mediator, disputes between litigants can be settled by an agreement acceptable to both sides,” U Soe Thein told the Mandalay regional parliament when asked about the project and the possibility of implementing it in Mandalay.

“It is not a question of deciding who won and who lost but of leading both sides to an agreement,” he said.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing technical assistance in the project, including the training of court officers. Only civil cases pertaining to finance, family and trade matters, can undergo mediation.

“During the past six months, it has been 25 percent successful. We believe it will be successful. There is no confusion, and the system is very simple,” he said.

Dekkhinathiri court has settled 28 of the 140 civil suits it has received for mediation, and Tatkon court has settled 25 of the 45 cases it received for mediation.

U Tin Aung, regional MP for Chan Mya Tharsi’s constituency 1, said he hopes the system could be adopted in Mandalay.

“There is no precedent in Myanmar for this kind of system, but it is a very good one. I support it because it seeks justice by not going through a trial. This system has been used in other countries for a long time,” he said.

The system is part of the Five-Year Judicial Strategic Plan (2018-2022) that was drafted to provide the highest quality of justice for all, and to promote public trust and confidence in the courts and effective rule of law.

Source: Myanmar Times

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