16 Jan 2023
The Guest Speaker for the session was Ms. Carishma Singh, Assistant Professor of Law.
Chanakya Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution conducted a guest lecture on the topic “The Nuances of Neutrality: Exploring the Mediator Mindset”.
The session commenced with a short introductory note by Ms. Ridhi Ranjan (Student Member, CCADR), wherein she welcomed the guest speaker Ms. Carishma Singh (Assistant Professor of Law).
Ms. Singh commenced the lecture by dwelling upon the essence of ‘neutrality’ concerning Mediation. Further, she elucidated the difference between the generic definition of neutrality and its definition from a mediator’s perspective. She elaborated on the phrase ‘Neutrality is self-awareness’, as the mediator must be self-aware of his personal values and accept that the other person may also possess values which might be different from that of the mediator.
She remarked how mediation is solution-driven but focuses on the process and discussed how a mediator should be mindful of listening intensely, asking questions, and opening a channel of communication so that the parties can communicate effectively and self-determine the best way to go forward. Additionally, she talked about how a mediator, at times, may drift from the rigid definition of neutrality to establish a process that would facilitate communication and help the parties take a well-thought, informed decision.
Later, she discussed how neutrality, as a concept in mediation, is extremely fluid rather than rigid as there may be a situation like a power imbalance at play between the parties, where a subtle intervention itself may amount to being neutral. Lastly, she concluded by remarking that a mediator must facilitate by following and not leading.
The session ended with a round of questions from the participants and a warm vote of thanks. The session was attended by over 110 professionals and students from different universities.