Mediation has the quality to make a positive and concrete contribution to the construction of the future.
Last Friday, January 21, the International Mediation Day was commemorated. It was instituted by the European Union in 1998, initially as the European Day of Mediation, as the Committee of Ministers approved the Mediation Recommendation on that date. Thereafter, it began to be called International Mediation Day, due to the positive contagion that mediation has had worldwide because of the benefits it represents, such as its flexibility; speed; low cost of money and less personal wear and tear, as well as globalization in various aspects.
Let us remember that controversies and conflicts have not been absent in people’s lives since ancient times. For this reason, it is not possible to see exactly the beginning of the mediation. Throughout history, however, we can find testimonies of moments, cultures, and places in the world in which mediation has been used as a means of peaceful resolution of conflicts. Ethnic and religious groups have in recent times established their own peaceful systems for managing and resolving differences of opinion. These systems have been used in particular to manage and resolve interpersonal conflicts with the intervention of a third party recognized by the parties involved, so that it can help those affected by the conflict or dispute to resolve them peacefully. , without the need to check. the assignment of the group to which they belonged.
Some antecedents of the regulation of peaceful dispute resolution mechanisms and modern mediation can be found in the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824; the Hague Convention of 1899; the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1917; the Charter of the United Nations of 1945; the National Mediation Commission, competent in labor matters, created in 1947 in the United States of America, and the Chinese Constitution of March 1978.
It was in the United States that mediation developed as it is practiced today. Its positive impact has led to positive contagion and it has been adopted in more and more states and countries.
Later in Europe, Latin America and other latitudes, mediation was adopted and resolutions were developed, books were written, regulatory projects were drawn up, mediation schools were created and the scope was expanded, in addition to the deployment of various and multiple dissemination actions.
The commemoration of the International Mediation Day is an excellent reason to promote mediation on a global scale, as it is the best peaceful mechanism for managing, preventing and resolving conflicts and disputes that reinforces actions to consolidate an effective cultural peace. It is no coincidence that on that date conferences, tables, forums and other cultural events, both face-to-face and remote, were organized around this important topic, spreading the different aspects of mediation, such as the characteristics of this mechanism and the work of mediators, sharing experiences and practices with experts from around the planet.
It must be remembered that mediation is the characteristic peaceful dispute resolution mechanism that has proven its usefulness for the management, prevention and resolution of conflicts or disputes and that it is therefore a way to restore and restore social peace, harmony, cordiality and social tissues. strengthen.
Mediation offers several benefits over litigation, reconciliation, and arbitration, as mediation is not an end in itself, it is a way — perhaps the best, if not the only one — to manage, prevent, and resolve conflicts. without fleeing to strictly judicial means or, as the case may be, as a provisional measure before such exhaustion.
The basic and most important idea of mediation is the individual responsibility of the parties in conflict. Although the mediator is in charge of the process, the mediator, that is to say the parties, is responsible for the content, as those involved in a conflict know better than anyone what the problems are that affect them and only need them. . the support of the mediator to build the solution. The direct participation of the persons involved is essential.
The issues in which mediation can be useful are the most diverse, it applies to international, political, community, corporate, neighborhood, school, sports, organizational, business, election, commercial, family, civil and even criminal matters. In short, in every human conflict some form of mediation can be applied and this path is not limited to the management, prevention and resolution of legal conflicts.
At present, most of the world’s consolidated democracies consider self-imposed or consensual justice, called alternative justice — which refers especially to mediation — as an integral part of their public policy; These countries, regardless of their normative regulation, also seek to re-educate their citizens so that they resolve their differences of opinion on their own in a civilized, participatory, democratic and responsible manner, which limits the intervention of the state.
In Mexico, the adoption of mediation was formalized in 1997 in the first Alternative Justice Act, which was that of the state of Quintana Roo. Currently, all states have conciliation centers attached to their judicial powers and have laws on the matter, except the state of Guerrero.
We can confirm that we have a Mexican mediation system due to the movement of local judicial and legislative powers, which has been deployed over the past 25 years. This movement was strengthened in 2008 with the inclusion in the Constitution of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, which were a step towards strengthening democracy by benefiting the participation of people in the management and resolution of their conflicts and thus the said option in an institutional guarantee to transform, into a human right.
While it is true that the said system is still under construction, it is hoped that in the drafting and eventual issuance of a general law on peaceful dispute resolution mechanisms, progress will be used responsibly.
Let us remember that every conflict or controversy deserves to be managed, prevented or resolved so that it does not escalate or become a major or noisy conflict or a social crisis that unleashes violence, because that situation will put us in danger of injuring ourselves destroy, of destruction of the other and social life.
* The author is an attorney and professional mediator.
Lawyer and professional mediator