The Mostar Mediation Conference 2020 addresses the topic of cooperation between justice and mediation systems in the Western Balkans. The conference’s main aim is to open space for learning from good practices, for knowledge sharing on similar challenges across the region, and how they have been and could be overcome.

The cooperation between mediation and justice, which among other effects contributes to reducing the backlog of judicial cases, is realised to different degrees throughout the Western Balkans: While in Kosovo*[1] several hundred cases are referred from the courts to mediation each year, and in Serbia particularly recently the request for mediation increased significantly, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H), North Macedonia, Montenegro and Croatia only a few cases are referred annually from the courts. However, laws on mediation foresee an important role for mediation in the resolution of disputes and court cases throughout the region: amongst others in B&H, Albania, Kosovo*, Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro mediation can be legally binding and judges are partly obliged or requested to introduce the possibility of mediation to the conflict parties.

CSSP, who operates projects in B&H, Kosovo* and Albania, aims at strengthening the cooperation between mediation and justice systems, together with the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and in cooperation with the International Association of Mediators from Southeast Europe by holding this regional conference. The conference gathers crucial stakeholders who are in the position to support and positively influence the interlinkage between mediation and justice systems, such as mediators, judges, lawyers, prosecutors, representatives of mediation associations, chambers and centres as well as from the respective ministries of justice and relevant civil society organisations. In addition, experts from the region and beyond contribute with in-depth expertise, specialist know-how and many years of experience to the quest of effective and sustainable solutions.

The Mostar Mediation Conference also continues the tradition of a series of meetings of the South Eastern European Mediation Forum (SEEMF), created by CSSP and supported from 2005 to 2012.

[1] The language of this web page is in accordance with the usage of the Regional Cooperation Council: *This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence