In the complex world of business, conflicts are inevitable. These disputes, if not managed effectively, can lead to significant financial losses and damage to business relationships. South African commercial entities often find themselves at a crossroads, having to choose between mediation and arbitration as methods to resolve their conflicts. Both are forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and serve as viable alternatives to traditional litigation. This blog post aims to delve into the specifics of when to use mediation and when to opt for arbitration in the context of commercial disputes in South Africa....

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) encompasses various methods designed to resolve conflicts outside traditional courtroom litigation. Among these methods, negotiation and mediation stand out as two primary tools. While both aim to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution, they differ significantly in approach, structure, and execution. This blog post delves into the key differences between negotiation and mediation, particularly within the context of South Africa, to provide a comprehensive understanding of their distinct roles in conflict resolution....

Disputes are short-term disagreements that are typically easier to resolve and generally involve negotiable interests, such as price negotiations or task assignments at work. Solutions to disputes can be found that partially satisfy both parties' interests. In contrast, conflicts are long-term, deep-rooted problems involving non-negotiable issues, often tied to fundamental values, identity, security, and recognition. Examples include moral or value differences, high-stakes distributional issues, and power dynamics. These issues are highly resistant to resolution and tend to persist over time....

Some mediators go above and beyond by becoming trauma-informed, which can have a profound impact on their ability to help clients in distress. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of being a trauma-informed mediator and how this approach can positively influence the outcomes of mediation sessions. To begin, let's understand what it means to be a trauma-informed mediator. Trauma-informed mediation is an approach that acknowledges the prevalence and impact of trauma on individuals and how it can manifest in conflict resolution processes. Trauma-informed mediators are attuned to the potential trauma experienced by their clients and strive to create a safe and supportive environment that promotes healing and empowerment. ...

In the world of mediation, where the primary ethos is about bridging divides and promoting understanding, the presence of unethical mediators can significantly undermine the profession’s integrity and efficacy. As the practice becomes increasingly mainstream in resolving disputes across various domains—be it business, family, or civil matters—the spotlight turns on the quality and ethical standards of the mediators themselves. The overconfidence in resolution One of the critical concerns within the realm of mediation revolves around mediators who possess an inflated belief in their ability to resolve any dispute. The old saying of “When the only tool that you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail” rings very true. ...

In South Africa, a parenting coordinator (PC) is a professional who assists parties in resolving parenting disputes, particularly in high-conflict situations. Here's a detailed overview of their role, appointment, duties, benefits, and the circumstances under which they are employed: Appointment Parenting coordinators (PCs) are designated to reduce the harmful impact of ongoing high-conflict co-parenting situations on children, the legal system, and the families involved. Despite the absence of specific laws in South Africa for PC appointment, courts can recommend parents for parenting coordination if it is in the best interests of their children. This appointment can be ordered by the court, included in a parenting plan, or agreed upon by the parties and approved by the court. ...

When allegations of child abuse arise during a mediation session, the mediator must navigate a delicate balance between maintaining the confidentiality of the mediation process and fulfilling their duty to report suspected abuse. The mediator's primary responsibility is to ensure the safety and well-being of the child in question. A couple of legislation deals with either the mandatory or the discretionary reporting of child abuse....

The concept of blended families has become increasingly prevalent in the evolving landscape of modern families. Blended families, formed through remarriage or re-partnering, bring together individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and expectations. While blending families can offer the promise of new beginnings and enlarged support networks, it also introduces unique challenges. Mediation plays a crucial role in addressing these challenges, providing a constructive and communicative framework for fostering harmony and understanding within blended families....

Conflict is inevitable in the dynamic landscape of modern workplaces. Whether stemming from interpersonal tensions, discrimination, or contractual disputes, resolving workplace conflicts promptly and effectively is critical for maintaining a harmonious and productive workplace environment. Two methods for resolving disputes, mediation and litigation, offer different approaches to addressing workplace disputes. In this blog, we delve into the comparative effectiveness of mediation and litigation in resolving workplace disputes, weighing their respective merits and drawbacks....

Divorce can be a tumultuous journey, and many individuals seek out aggressive "pit bull" lawyers in the hopes that their fierce representation will secure the best outcome for their children. However, before you unleash a legal attack dog, it's important to carefully consider your options. Despite the belief that a courtroom showdown is the answer, practice has shown that what's truly in the best interest of your children may not be found in an acrimonious court battle. Divorce is a difficult and emotionally charged process for all parties involved, especially the children. When a marriage ends, parents must make tough choices about dividing assets, debts, and time with their children. ...