Chief Justice Anthony Gates stated during the stakeholders meeting for the Fiji Mediation Centre that if parties are willing to talk, all they do is put their cards on the table and see what areas they can agree on.
He highlighted that over 70 matters were mediated at the Fiji Mediation Centre last year and 67.5% of the cases were settled of which more than 60% were concluded within one working day.
The Fiji Mediation Centre currently has 42 accredited mediators from around Fiji consisting of Judges, Masters of Courts, Magistrates, lawyers, accountants, senior civil servants, academicians, managers and executive directors.
Chief Justice Gates has stated that they are looking at having another 20 accredited mediators this year after they undergo the training process.
Chairperson of the Fiji Mediation Centre, Jenny Seeto stated that if a person resolves their problem before the hearing of the case, then they do not proceed to trial in court.
Seeto says parties file a term of settlement which the court converts into a consent order.
She highlighted that mediation is a simple process compared to the court proceeding and the arbitrary process as parties arrive at their solutions which saves time and money.
The Fiji Mediation Centre which is headed by the Judiciary Department looks at cases like banking, defamation, employment, insurance and any matter appropriate for the small claims tribunal.