24 Nov 2007

Tonga highlights mediation as successful methods for settling civil disputes

12:36 pm on 24 November 2007

Tonga is highlighting mediation as one of the most successful methods for settling civil disputes and to move the country forward.

Tonga's its first law week last week gave education and training in how to settle arguments.

Tonga's chief justice says the public learned about the benefits of mediation through broadcasts, while officials attended seminars.

Justice Anthony Ford says mediation has many benefits, especially for Tongans.

"The great thing about it is that they are able to reach a settlement through mediation, the parties can shake hands and walk away still fiends. In the Tongan context that is very important. That is a face saving way of resolving a dispute which is something that one does not get in a court situation."

Justice Anthony Ford says it also saves time and money.

He says the technique was introduced as an alternative to the court system earlier this year and it is already a success because 8 out of ten civil disputes have been settled that way.