February 23, 2020

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Mediation in The Hague

At any level of any organisation, many issues are often just one step away from becoming conflicts. As a means of resolving disputes professionally and comprehensively, mediation is fast becoming the solution of choice for individuals and organisations in both the public and private sectors.

By Daan Breukhoven.

The Netherlands stands on the verge of legislative changes that will see mediation proceedings become an integral part of the judiciary. For many, this is a welcome development; lawsuits are often long and extremely costly, especially when reputations and relationships are at stake. Even the most basic court cases can easily reach €8,000 per party. Such proceedings generally take at least a year, and are often disruptive and damaging to those involved.

Mediation, by contrast, costs on average just €2,000 per party and success rates are high. Nationwide, some 83% of mediation proceedings are resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. The usual timeframe for resolution is less than half that of a court case, and sometimes solutions can be found within days. No wonder, then, that a growing number of businesses and other organisations are opting for mediation to resolve disputes and alleviate conflict.

The value of mediation

Diplomats, representatives of international organisations, government officials, charity workers and freelance professionals all thrive in the international environment of a city like The Hague. But diversity brings challenges, and disagreements or disputes are to be expected. What matters is that they are resolved. For individuals and organisations in these fields, there are many benefits to mediation. Unlike a court case, mediation is discreet and unobtrusive, taking place without unwelcome media attention. In the hands of a qualified mediator, parties can work to resolve conflicts privately and at their own pace. A successful mediation process results in a sustainable and future-proof solution for all concerned.

The mediation process

The Netherlands maintains an official register of qualified mediators. This ensures, due to the provisions of disciplinary action law and stringent education requirements, that the competence, integrity and accountability of registered mediators is guaranteed. Professional mediation sessions are carefully structured and each mediator follows precise methods. The mediator leads the conversation, directing the process and facilitating dialogue from start to finish. It is the mediator’s job to get right to the heart of the issue and to foster communication between the parties. The aim is for solutions to be generated by the parties themselves.

Dispute resolution

Mediation can be called upon to resolve all manner of issues. It could be a difference in opinion over a business contract; an overdue payment; difficulties with a colleague or a breakdown in communication that is the catalyst for conflict. When these difficulties arise, reputation and relationship damage are often the result. Yet such damage is far from inevitable, and sustainable solutions can usually be found through dialogue. Mediation is considered by many to be more effective, more transparent and less costly than legal proceedings as a means of resolving disputes.

Breukhoven Mediation

Daan Breukhoven is the director and owner of Breukhoven Mediation. He is an expert in mediation between and within Dutch and international organisations, while his team has a combined 25 years’ professional mediation experience. Breukhoven Mediation offers certified (multiple) mediations both in the Netherlands and abroad with highly experienced, multilingual mediators.

For more information, please visit www.breukhoven-mediation.nl. Bespoke training workshops are also available on request.



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