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Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 5.10 GMT

Community Mediation Boards evaluated

 

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) launched an evaluation of Community Mediation Boards (CMBs) at the MoJ auditorium recently.

Commissioned by The Asia Foundation (TAF) on behalf of the MoJ, the evaluation was carried out by a consultant, Cyrene Siriwardana, and a team of twenty-five researchers.

The evaluation was carried out through perception and mediator surveys, awareness polls, interviews, focus group discussions, case studies and observation and examined the impact, efficacy and management of mediation boards across the country, making several valuable recommendations to further improve what is already a successful mechanism for dealing with community disputes.

These recommendations include increasing training and capacity of mediators and changing social demographics.

“Community mediation boards have proven to be very effective in dealing with disputes,” commented Nilan Fernando, Country Representative, TAF. “As the evaluation reveals, they have reduced the burden on legal courts, helped save disputants – many of whom cannot afford it – legal fees, and create an inclusive approach to community conflict transformation.”

Introduced in 1991 and administered by the MoJ, CMBs consist of non-political individuals from local communities appointed by the Mediation Boards Commission. The primary objective of the CMBs is to settle minor disputes outside of the formal court process, thereby reducing the caseload of the courts. CMBs are governed by the Mediation Boards Act No.72 of 1988.

Acting British High Commissioner, Mark Gooding, said, “The UK is very happy to support such initiatives that contribute to the resolution of low level conflict and provide viable mechanisms for redress. This evaluation of the community mediation board programme is expected to help identify the gaps and strengthen the process, greatly increasing its impact. After hearing the presentation of the key findings and witnessing the commitment of the MoJ, I have no doubt that this objective would be achieved.”


 


 

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Last modified: January 25, 2011.

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