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As contained in the book of books [BIBLE] ,God as part of his planned redemption sent his only begotten  son to meditate between  the predestinated  seed  and the father [God] to reconcile them to himself [the father], in effect, mediation as a family of  ADR  was conceived even before the foundation of the world.

The case of Jethro and Moses

The case of Moses was not only about participation in community mobilization and its programs. It is a major step in conflict prevention, involvement and early resolution of differences. As well-known, all matters were reported to Moses directly and the effect on his health was noticed by the father-in-law. Jethro therefore advised Moses to organize the election of leaders per each group to enable community members report directly to their own elected leaders and in the unlikely event of them not being able to resolve any reported case then they could revert to Moses for solution.

This can be referred to as preventive mediation and early resolution of differences in the application of mediation and peer reviews.

 

Jesus and Conflict resolution

It is recorded in Mathew 18:15-22 that he admonished his disciples and by extension the church that, should anyone be offended because of a fault, Jesus admonished individuals and the church as a whole as a first instance, a first mediation in Mathew 18:15.

 

Managerial / Leadership mediation

Jesus again admonished the use of leadership mediation as a second step should self-mediation fail. In verse 17, he introduced the use of organizational wide mediation.

This is premised on the fact that parties should learn to forgive one another as much as 70 x 7 times before the sun goes down. In effect, there is nothing new under the sun.

 

The Paul effect of ADR

Paul in 1 Corinthians 6 admonished brethren that they should not go to court as a first step in managing their differences. In effect, he is advising that people should learn to resolve their differences as instructed by Jesus whether in matters of social issues, marital or, doctrinal differences as exemplified in the case of the apostles in Acts 15 when there arose a dissension about the doctrine of circumcision.

CLASSICAL CASE OF ADR IN FACILITATION

The case of Solomon and the two women in dispute over a child brings into sharp focus the application of a skillful facilitation that is also a family of ADR.

It is worth noting that Solomon did not ask for wealth or popularity from God but, instead asked for wisdom to rule his people. At a very crucial moment therefore when two women were brought before Solomon over a very contentious issue about the correct owner of a child, and when it was almost evident that there seemed no solution to the problem, Solomon used his God’s given wisdom to order that the child be divided into two to enable each mother have a part of the child. Instantly the actual mother begged that the whole child be rather given to the other woman. Thus the solution to the conflict was achieved when wisdom was applied. Solomon’s intervention facilitated an amicable solution to the matter at stake.

In modern times, facilitative mediation has become very popular as a type of mediation where the mediator structures a process to assist the parties in reaching a mutual resolution. The mediator asks questions; validates and normalizes parties’ points of view; searches for interests underneath the positions taken by parties; and assists the parties in finding and analyzing options for resolution.  In this case, the mediator is in charge of the process, while the parties are in charge of the outcome.

The above instances indicate that ADR is not a recent phenomenon but has been in existence from time past and over the years. In pursuant, there has been a tremendous growth in the forms\styles and application of ADR mechanisms.

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Austin Gamey
Austin Gamey is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gamey and Gamey Group, and an affiliate of PULSE Institute, Calgary, Canada and Mediation Training Institute, Kansas City, USA, and Work Meter on the Continent of Africa on how to increase and measure productivity. He possesses several years of consultancy and training experience gained from work activities, training, research and benchmarking programmes in Ghana, U.S.A., Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Canada, Denmark and Norway.