People’s Mediation Centres: Promoting Local Mediation In India

Anil Xavier, President of the Indian Institute of Arbitration & Mediation and practising advocate in India, discusses the implementation of People’s Mediation Centres (PMCs) in India.

People’s Mediation Society (PMS)

The People’s Mediation Society (PMS) is a charitable society formed for the purpose of promoting mediation and empowering people towards sustainable development and creating a harmonious society. The membership of the society is open to all who support the objectives of creating a better and more honest world and, most importantly, empowering communities to take control over their disputes and resolve them amicably.

PMS poses that when faced with conflicts, society needs to take control, empower itself and need to take charge in it’s capacity to resolve disputes. We must understand that if we can create disputes, we can also resolve them.

Under this premise, the members of PMS have voluntarily signed the Pledge to Mediate, by which they would consider mediation as the primary option for dispute resolution, recognising the importance of empowerment in resolving disputes amicably and voluntarily.

As such, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Arbitration & Mediation (IIAM), which is one of the pioneer institutions in India promoting and administering mediation and mediation, PMS is establishing People’s Mediation Centres across India.

People’s Mediation Centres (PMCs)

To uphold the concept of community empowerment, PMS will have 1,00,000 members to sign the Pledge to Mediate and establish 10 PMCs in Kerala. These PMCs will start functioning on July 17, 2018, which also falls on International Justice Day. Within the next year, PMS would strive to establish 100 PMCs in the selected assembly constituencies in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu.

The goal is to establish one PMC in every assembly constituency in India within the next 10 years.

Each Centre will have a minimum of five trained community mediators from that same community, apart from the service of other accredited mediators from IIAM. IIAM will train these community mediators and oversee the ethical guidelines, mediator code of conduct and case management. There will a consultative board, consisting of a retired judge, lawyer and/or academic for a group of ten PMCs, which could give legal guidance to the mediators if required.

These PMCs will be rooted within the local community, where they own, manage and administer the centres, ultimately giving them a strong sense of empowerment, self-sufficiency and independence.

Written by Ruxandra Gheorghe.