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UCLan Cyprus Mediation Month 2021

The School of Law at UCLan Cyprus is delighted to announce the holding of a number of activities in February 2021 as part of the UCLan Cyprus Mediation Month 2021. Aiming to transform local knowledge and culture when it comes to solving disputes, academics, students, professionals and members of the public successfully came together to explore the power of mediation in solving disputes and transforming relationships through a number of different activities.

Kick-starting Mediation Month 2021, and for the third consecutive year running, was the International Civil and Commercial Mediation Training Course offered between 13-21 February 2021 (see https://www.uclancyprus.ac.cy/the-school-of-law-organises-the-international-civil-amp-commerical-mediation-course/). Participants, including postgraduate law students and UCLan staff members who successfully completed this course, can now register as Mediators with the Ministry of Justice in The Republic of Cyprus, the Civil Mediation Council in the UK and become certified by the International Mediation Institute (IMI), subject to relevant registration requirements. The professional registration and certification opportunities and the quality of the training are what set this course apart from any other mediation training course offered on the island. Lead trainers are experienced mediators Emma McAndry of Essential Mediation Solutions and Dawn Stainer of Lakeland Mediation Solutions who work alongside Dr Nevi Agapiou, Dr Despina Christofi and Professor Stéphanie Laulhé Shaelou of the School of Law, UCLan Cyprus towards providing the highest possible level of mediation training. This fully interactive course offers a life-changing experience, allowing participants to sharpen their critical and creative thinking skills by being actively engaged in the learning process. It offers participants a meaningful reality-based experience utilising applied learning. Realistic role-play scenarios help the participants to apply newly acquired knowledge and skills as well as to make informed decisions to a wide range of situations. One participant commented that “participation in this module helped me to increase my awareness of the mediation process and the challenges that mediators can face in the digital world. The practical nature of the module allowed me to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses in relation to online communication.”

EMS Civil and Commercial Mediation Awards were issued to LLM students Sitwala Imasiku and Zora Kizilyurek for their excellence performance on the course. The prize includes free attendance at a Mediation Continuing Professional Development Day, three online mentorship meetings with professional mediators each year, and
an internship for small claim enquiries and administration.

This Course was interjected by a Civil and Commercial Mediation taster session for undergraduate students organised by the School of Law that took place on 18 February 2021. Student participants expressed their excitement both about being able to gain an insight as to potential careers in mediation as well as understanding the merits of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) on a deeper level. Participants enjoyed watching video demonstrations where they witnessed commercial mediation in action and one participant commented that, “[o]verall, this course enhanced not only my theoretical knowledge about Mediation, but also gave me an idea of how it really works in practice!” General feedback from several participants revealed that students were very thankful for the useful and informative session as it was taught by professional trainers, and they would have liked it to have lasted longer. Moreover, they expressed their wishes to participate in future events on Mediation as it was a “wonderful experience”.

Mediation Month 2021 was summed up by social mediation training workshops. Social mediation is a process for creating and repairing social bonds, leading to peaceful resolutions of conflicts in daily life in which an impartial and independent party seeks, by organising exchanges between persons and institutions, to help them to improve a relationship or to resolve a conflict opposing them. So, on 26 and 27 February, UCLan Cyprus’ associate Interdisciplinary Centre for Law, Alternative and Innovative Methods (ICLAIM) offered new training workshop on ‘Social Mediation for Social Transitions,’ under its long-term Social Mediation project, with the support of UCLan Cyprus and a grant from the University of Central Lancashire Centre for Sustainable Transitions (UCLan CST). The workshop was complemented by a meeting of the Social Mediators’ Network and a roundtable discussion with old and newly trained members of the network, on 20 February and 6 March, respectively. In February 2021, ICLAIM was awarded the European Citizen Prize 2020 by the European Parliament for its 2019-2020 ‘Social Mediation in Practice’ project, which formed the basis for these events. The Social Mediation project aims to raise awareness and train individuals of various professional or other backgrounds in the use of social mediation as a conflict resolution tool in a social context. (More information on the project at: www.social-mediation.org).

Well done to all involved!