Over the past year, Maryland Carey Law’s Center for Dispute Resolution (C-DRUM) has had the privilege of training over 100 judiciary members from Maryland and Brazil in the process of mediation. Judges, throughout Maryland as well as in other parts of the world, play a key role in the advancement of mediation programs. For Brazil, bringing together the judiciary as well as prosecutors with renowned experts in mediation training opened avenues to learning about alternative methods of conflict resolution for the country.
Prof. Deborah Thompson Eiseberg (front left) with participants of a December 2016 mediation training for Brazilian judges and prosecutors in Washington, D.C.
“…[W]e constructed a course that, without losing the theoretical part, would permit the judges and prosecutors to increase their potential in mediation in every day judging,” recalls Appeals Court Justice Christine Santini, one of the Brazilian planners of the December 2016 training provided by C-DRUM in partnership with the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University, and the American University Washington College of Law. “The techniques learned were all directed to this end and it has been our intention all along that each one of the participants share this knowledge with the rest of their colleagues,” (excerpted/translated from “Magistrados e integrantes do Ministério Público participam de curso sobre mediação em Washington” by Marcus Onodera for the Tribunal de Justiça Estado de São Paulo).
Prof. Deborah Thompson Eisenberg (standing) reviews essential mediation skills with participants from Brazil.
Brazilian participants traveled to Washington D.C. from the the São Paulo School of Judges, the Superior School of the Public Ministry, and the National Unity of the Council of Public Ministry.
In Maryland, three mediation trainings provided in 2016 were facilitated by the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office and provided by C-DRUM. Over 70 judges and magistrates completed the trainings. Although most of the judges and magistrates will not mediate as formal mediators in the near future, many commented on the value of learning mediation skills and the value in gaining a greater understanding of the process. One participant commented that the course provided a way to “more effectively communicate with self-represented litigants in my courtroom, make more informed decisions as to which cases to refer to mediation, and educate my colleagues on the process and benefits of mediation.”
C-DRUM provided training in mediation skills for judges and magistrates
across Maryland during 2016.
Mediation trainings for both countries covered the essential skills of mediation and provided numerous opportunities for the judges to serve as mediators in simulated mediation sessions. Through the trainings, the participants gained a greater appreciation for the skills necessary to provide quality mediation services and the role of mediation in the administration of justice.