The methodology for evaluating the work of mediators was prepared under the joint European Union/Council of Europe action “Accountability and professionalism of the judicial system in Montenegro”, in consultations with the Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Association of Mediators of Montenegro.
In previous years, initiatives emerged towards greater quality control of mediation. International legal instruments developed under the auspices of the European Union and the Council of Europe emphasised a need for a more effective provision of mediation services and set up recommendations for national legal systems to adopt and improve quality control mechanisms in the field of mediation.
The methodology is based on the existing Council of Europe and EU documents concerning quality control of mediation services, but the approach and evaluation mechanisms are fully adapted to Montenegro, respecting the existing legal and institutional framework of mediation. By following relevant standards in the field of mediation, this document considers evaluation as a quality control mechanism that primarily serves as a professional support for mediators. It suggests an all-inclusive evaluation approach that combines different evaluation methods, such as mediator self-evaluations, user evaluations, mentoring, supervision and inter-vision.
The necessity to develop such methodology has been identified through a need assessment of the Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution, conducted in 2020. The development of the methodology has been influenced by relevant international instruments of the Council of Europe and European Union, but supported also by the local strategic documents and regulations, notably the new Law on Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Programme of the Development of Alternative Dispute Resolution 2019-2021.
The new Law on Alternative Dispute Resolution, which was adopted in July 2020, increased the scope of mediation and accentuated mediators' accountability, the European Union and the Council of Europe provided support to the Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution to develop the methodology for evaluating the work of mediators.
The methodology was developed under the action “Accountability and professionalism of the judicial system in Montenegro” which is a part of the European Union and Council of Europe joint programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022”.
Through the Horizontal Facility, the European Union and the Council of Europe will assist beneficiaries to comply with Council of Europe standards and European Union acquis in the framework of the enlargement process. The Horizontal Facility relies on the Council of Europe’s unique working methods, whereby tailor-made technical co-operation activities are based on conclusions and recommendations of the Council of Europe’s monitoring bodies highlight areas where improvements are needed in legislation and policies of the beneficiaries to comply with the Organisation’s treaties and other standards.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method whereby a neutral person (mediator) guides communication between the disputing parties and, by using special knowledge and skills, assists in negotiations aimed at reaching an agreement which resolves their dispute. As ECOPNET, we strongly support the establishment process of alternative dispute resolutions both in Member States and candidate countries.
Source: Council of Europe Programme Office in Podgorica