Mediation in Family & Divorce Disputes

September 1st, 2014

By John O’Leary

Cape Town: Siber Ink

(2014) 1st edition

Price: R 240 (incl VAT)

86 pages (soft cover)

The process of mediation within any context can be daunting for all the parties involved, including the mediator. Therefore, a concise and easy-to-use manual such as this is a very welcome addition to South Africa’s law libraries.

While mediators receive training to prepare themselves for the management of other people’s disputes, it is very important to have a quick reference guide that one can refer to before entering into negotiations. This book has three parts, each dealing with what the author believes are the most important and useful aspects of mediation: Preparation; the mediation process itself; and the ‘wider context’ (being the law and processes behind mediation).

It is imperative for any mediator to understand the principles and instructions in this book – and whether one is an experienced mediator or a newcomer to the field – the author has created a platform on which either can improve their skills. The book’s lessons are also universal and, if used correctly, can be applied to dispute resolution and even everyday confrontational challenges faced by almost any professional in any field.

Finally, the book is not only aimed at the third party (the mediator) but also at the parties to the dispute themselves. This wise approach emphasises the importance of all parties participating in the mediation process and following the rules and guidelines of mediation to achieve the best possible result.

Overall, Mediation in Family & Divorce Disputes is easy to read and understand. It covers everything one would need to know to run a successful mediation and is sure to become a leading resource in its field. It is an indispensable book for mediators and legal professionals within the field of family law and is also potentially useful to professionals in management and human resources.

Annelie du Plessis is an attorney at ProBono.Org in Johannesburg.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2014 (Sept) DR 56.