31 Oct 2017
Mediator for Westminster Harassment Complaints
CEDR welcomes the news coming out of Westminster this week, not least from the Prime Minister herself, that a mediator should be appointed as part of the reforms to deal with the complaints of harassment emerging from the Palace of Westminster.
Mediation has been shown to be successful in resolving disputes arising out of many grievance claims of harassment in the work place, and there is every reason to suppose that this would be the case for the Houses of Parliament as well. Mediation, whilst not an adjudicative process (so it would not be used to prove a grievance claim or determine a penalty), can help uncover important facts or capture better the nuances of human behaviour and in many cases that helps. More importantly mediation can facilitate an apology and an offer of redress. Mediation is a confidential and consensual process held under the auspices of a neutral person. Both sides at a mediation must agree on the outcome in order for there to be an agreement.
When embarking on this initiative CEDR would also sound an important note of caution that the mediator must be trained to the highest standard and be perceived as completely independent of Parliament and indeed, if possible, independent of the government. Without these safeguards it may prove difficult to obtain the trust of all sides to engage with the process.