Gordana Ristin is Judge of the Appel Court in Ljubljana, Republic of Slovenia since 1995. She started her career as lawyer in the Insurance Company Triglav in Ljubljana in 1980. Then, in 1986 she was elected judge. She has been a Mediator since 2001 (completed more than 200 mediations), and a trainer for mediators. She served as the President of the Slovenian Association of Mediators for 5 years, and she is now the honourable President and the actual President. She was the National Coordinator in the SEEMF network, member of the board of EMNI and member of Gemme and CIMJ. She has published widely in the field of civil justice, insurance law and mediation. She co-mediated the first environmental mediation in Slovenia. She finished Law School in Ljubljana and magistrated from ARD. She is teaching ADR at European Law School in Nova Gorica from 2015.
Lawyers and mediators do not compete. We are all dealing with disputes.
I think that we should all be wondering, what we could do for our parties, the people in our countries, and in the region? If we only care for ourselves, then mediation should be obligatory everywhere and that everything should be paid by the state. However, we know that over-regulation harms and kills mediation.
Parties could perceive us as new professionals, who should live at theirs expense.
My favorite sentence from the Green Paper Commission, which says that access to justice is not just access to the court! Access to justice is not just access to court! This would mean that Article 6 of The human rights conventions should be interpreted as meaning that the state is obliged to provide the parties access to mediation.
We really cannot expect that from EU law, because mediation is simply not in the EU agreement.
Solutions should be found in all national procedural laws, to offer the parties mandatory information on mediation before the trial begins and that this should be implemented.
The only way to improve this is to educate judges, lawyers, prosecutors - and above all to put mediation in the school and faculty program. After the Corona our world will not be the same. There is our challenge, to spread the idea of mediation in all types of disputes through education and promotion. We will need more energy and understanding from our people. No one can understand them as well as we do, mediators. That is why now, more than ever, we need to turn to the needs and desires of our people, because we are theirs.
Well, it will be good for us too. A legal system that does not understand people and does not show them understanding, loses people's trust. Lawyers and mediators work together and so we are moving forward.