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Reporting Mediation: Congrous or Incongrous?

Bhavya Sharma
PhD Research Scholar (LAW)
Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Mohammad Athar Talib
PhD Research Scholar (LAW)
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India

Volume II – Issue III, 2019

Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party works with and assists the disputants to negotiate a settlement by helping them communicate , identify their substantive interests , create practical and workable solution that amicably ends the dispute.

With ‘Confidentiality’ as its basic feature, whether reporting mediation is congruous or not? And  if so, then till what extent?

In Ram Janambhoomi case, Honorable Supreme Court directed “mediation proceedings should be conducted with utmost proceedings confidentiality so as to ensure its success which can only be safeguarded by directing that proceedings of mediation and the views expressed therein by any of the parties, including the mediators, shall be kept confidential and not revealed to any other person”.

Aware of the likely intense media focus on the mediation process, and conscious that wide coverage of views expressed could inflame emotions detrimental to an amicable solution, there ought not to be any reporting of the said proceedings in print or in electronic media. The Court further directed that it empowers the mediators to pass necessary orders in writing, if so required, to restrain publication of details of mediation proceedings.

The Confidentiality rule will be helpful as none would want the atmosphere to be vitiated by pre-mature disclosure when the country is in election mode. Thus, Confidentiality extends to all aspects of mediation, including the views expressed therein, the discussions, suggestions and options that emerge.

It covers the existence and contents of the mediation agreement. The only exceptions to this are where all the parties give permission for such disclosure or where it is required by law. Infact, the mediator should not even divulge to anyone that mediation is taking place between the disputing parties.

 

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