The School of Law at UCLan Cyprus is pleased to announce the holding of a number of activities in February 2023 as part of the UCLan Cyprus Mediation Month 2023. Aiming to transform local knowledge and culture when it comes to solving disputes, academics, students, professionals, and members of the public successfully come together once a year to explore the power of mediation in solving disputes and transforming relationships through a number of different activities.
With the newly re-established Mediation Centre at UCLan in the UK, the International Civil and Commercial Mediation Professional Training Course was successfully offered for the fifth consecutive year between 10-19 February 2023 on campus. Participants, including postgraduate law students (LLMs) of the School of Law, who successfully complete this course, can register as Mediators with the Ministry of Justice and Public Order 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 high quality of the training are what truly set this course apart from any other mediation training course offered on the island. Lead trainer is Dr Monalisa Odibo, a UCLan (Preston) colleague responsible for delivering Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) modules as well as overseeing UCLan’s Centre of Mediation’s services, who worked alongside Dr Nevi Agapiou, Dr Maria Tatsiou, Dr Katerina Kalaitzaki and Professor Stéphanie Laulhé Shaelou of the School of Law, UCLan Cyprus, towards providing a stellar training course. 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.
On 10 February 2023, there was also an opportunity for continuous professional development (CPD) for the certified mediators of the School of Law of UCLan Cyprus, namely Professor Stéphanie Laulhé Shaelou, Dr Nevi Agapiou, Dr Maria Tatsiou and Dr Katerina Kalaitzaki. The 6-hour CPD mediation refresher was delivered by Dr Monalisa Odibo, lead of the UCLan Mediation Centre in Preston. UCLan holds recognised Certified Mediator Training Programme Provider with the International Mediation Institute (IMI) as well as Registered Training Course Provider of the Civil Mediation Council (CMC) in the UK.
On 13 February 2023, undergraduate law students (LLB) also had the chance to attend a specially designed ADR session for them. Students got a taste of how mediation works in practice as they were tasked to collaborate with their peers in small groups and find mutually acceptable solutions in simulation scenarios provided to them.
During the Mediation Month, UCLan Cyprus, together with ICLAIM, the Cyprus Peace and Dialogue Centre and with the generous support of the British High Commission in Cyprus under the SOMEROL project, also hosted the ‘Social Mediation and the strengthening the Rule of Law in Cyprus’ Roundtable joined by members of the Social Mediators’ Network and other stakeholders in Cyprus across the divide. Social mediation is a process for creating and repairing social bonds, leading to peaceful resolution 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. In February 2021, ICLAIM was awarded the European Citizen Prize 2020 by the European Parliament for its 2019-2020 ‘Social Mediation in Practice’ project. Further projects on Social Mediation in different contexts unfolded since then. 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 (https://www.social-mediation.org/).