NEGOTIATION RULES OF PROCEDURE
In these Rules:
“Conflict Mapping or Conflict Analysis” is the process of gathering and analyzing data on the conflict situation, and organizing and representing the problem statement in a conflict map report.
“Mediation” is a facilitated negotiation process by a third party neutral.
"Mediation Agreement" means an agreement by the parties to submit to mediation all or certain disputes which have arisen, or which may arise between them; a Mediation Agreement may be in the form of a mediation clause in a contract or in the form of a separate contract;
“MOA” means memorandum of agreement;
"Mediator" includes a sole mediator, or all the mediators where more than one is appointed;
“MedNet” means the Mediators Network for Sustainable Peace (MedNet), Inc.
Words used in the singular include the plural and vice versa, as the context may require.
Article 2. Conflict Mapping or Conflict Analysis
1. MedNet will conduct conflict mapping or conflict analysis. Conflict mapping is the process of gathering and analyzing data on a conflict situation. It is also organizing and representing the problem statement in a conflict map report.
2. MedNet will examine the report which outlines the issues, identify the stakeholders and their levels of influence and motivation, identify a possible Convenor who will be able to convene the parties to a negotiation process and recommend a possible mediation process to resolve outstanding issues.
Article 3. Conducting the Conflict Mapping
1. MedNet will start with key informant interviews (KII) that will be conducted with key respondents, stakeholder representatives and resource persons. As much as possible, focus group discussions (FGDs) will be convened for stakeholder groups of more than three persons each. When facilities allow, key informant interviews and FGDs will be conducted online.
2. A Validation Workshop will be conducted at the end of the mapping process, to present the results of the conflict map to stakeholder groups. Often, a validation process results in resolution of some of the issues identified, as next steps are outlined in the workshop. The validation workshop will also get the commitment of the stakeholders to the next recommended steps, especially where mediation is deemed a viable approach.
3. Note that not all conflicts MedNet is handling needs to undergo conflict mapping, depending on the complexity of the conflicts.
Article 4. Identifying conflicts to be mediated
1. MedNet’s niche is to support resolution of community conflicts using Empowering Dispute Resolution/Management Processes (EDRMP);
2. In some conflicts, MedNet suggests to parties to negotiate or undergo mediation, but most of the time, the initiative emanates from the parties themselves.
3. If any party decides to undergo mediation, they must fill up and submit a Mediation Form 4.1 or Request for Mediation through any of MedNet members or directly email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Upon receiving the Mediation Form 4.1, MedNet will contact the other party to deliver and discuss the request for mediation and will asked them for their approval.
5. If the other party agrees on the request for mediation sent by the other party, they must agree and sign a MOA with the opposing party.
Article 5. Initializing the Mediation Process
1. After receiving the signed MOA, MedNet will evaluate the memorandum and will send a notice after five (5-10) working days to the respective parties.
2. MedNet will conduct its preliminary orientation for the parties to address the questions and clarifications before proceeding to the mediation process.
Article 6. Mediator-in-charge
1. At the onset of the conflict mapping process, MedNet will select a possible mediator to the conflict.
2. However, if the conflict doesn’t require any conflict mapping process, MedNet will appoint the best mediator based on the nature of the conflict.
3. The chosen mediator must whole-heartedly accept his/her duties as mediator to the conflict and assure MedNet of their availability to handle the conflict.
Article 7. Summoning the Parties
1. The mediator once again will explain the scope and limitations of the MOA that both parties signed.
2. The mediator may suggest a schedule for the first mediation session, but will mostly rely on the parties to decide when they want to start the session.
Article 8. Stakeholders' Participation
1. Parties involved in the conflict are expected to participate in the mediation process as is stated in the MOA.
2. If it happens that one of the parties is unable to participate in a mediation session, they are expected to present an authorization letter that gives the proxy the capacity to decide and sign on their behalf. The letter will only be accepted if it is notarized with a Special Power of Attorney.
Article 9. Mediator as the main facilitator of the conflict
1. Role of the Mediator. The mediators’ role is to provide a neutral perspective and to ensure a balanced negotiation. The mediator will ensure that each participant has the chance to be heard and to be treated with dignity and respect.
2. Impartiality and Neutrality. A mediator shall not allow his or her personal, political, or socio-economic bias or opinions to influence the outcome of the mediation.
3. Transparency and Conflict of Interest. A mediator shall exercise and ensure transparency in the conduct of the mediation process. A mediator shall disclose fully to the parties all information that he feels is necessary to assure the parties of his neutrality, fairness, and good faith in handling the process.
4. Confidentiality. A mediator shall foster the confidentiality of the process. The mediator shall inform the parties at the initial meeting about all the information discussed during mediation, including information obtained during caucuses.
Article 10. Grounds for the Mediator to terminate the Mediation
1. A mediator shall terminate mediation if:
> a participant requests that the process be terminated
> a participant is using the process inappropriately or in bad faith
> in the mediators’ opinion, the mediation is counter-productive, or it is unlikely to settle after best efforts have been made
> proposals for settlement undermine the participants' or the public's trust in the process of mediation
> a settlement is unlikely to take place within a reasonable amount of time
2. A mediator shall exercise good judgment in arriving at a decision to terminate the mediation process.
Article 11. Concluding Mediation
1. A mediator should encourage all parties to reduce their agreements into writing.
Full Agreement - The mediators shall discuss with the participants the process for formalizing, if necessary, and implementing the agreement.
Partial Agreement - The mediators shall discuss with the participants the procedures available to them to resolve any remaining issues.
In both instances, the mediator may assist the parties in the process of writing down and formalizing the settlement. This written instrument shall be discussed by the parties and shall be subject to their approval.
Termination by Participant - The mediator shall inform the participants of their right to withdraw from mediation at any time.
Termination by Mediator - If the mediator believes that the participants are unable or unwilling to participate meaningfully in the process or that a reasonable agreement is unlikely, the mediator may suspend or terminate the mediation.
Article 12. Mediation Fees
1. The coverage of fees is included in the proposal that MedNet will submit to the stakeholders.
2. The mediation fees shall be paid only to MedNet.
3. The terms to pay the Mediation fees are included in the proposal that MedNet will submit to the stakeholders.
4. If a party directly communicates to MedNet to initiate the process of mediation, Mediation fees will be paid by that party. However, fees may be split equally between the parties involved, if their resources allow.
Article 13. Liability Waiver
1. MedNet shall not be liable for any intentional act by either of the parties involved without prior consultation.