Early this December I had the opportunity to participate in an EU Mediation training organized by the European Academy of Law (ERA) in Trier (Germany).
I think I was lucky: I learned about this opportunity at the very last minute, just a few days after I decided to start my own blog and I announced that “Mediation – EU – Family Law” were to be its focus points.
So, business as usual, I went to wander a bit on MiKK’s website to see if anything was up and there it was: an ERA training for lawyers, judges and mediators about the exact same topics (EU, Family law, Mediation) with some language classes and some practice in cross-border Mediation… what else could I wish for? Sounded like destiny. :)
Trier is about 45 minutes from Luxembourg by car, that was also quite convenient for me.
During the three days, legal English classes (by the way do you know how to pronounce law correctly? what’s the difference between a solicitor and a barrister and an attorney-at-law? what’s the definition of custody?) alternated with theoretical presentations (for some more Trivia points: what does a SMART agreement look like? which international legal instruments govern international child abduction cases?) and a role-play in relation to an international mediation case that we played through all of the stages.
Setting the scene,
Defining the issues at hand,
In-depth discussions with the parties,
Brainstorming about a potential agreement and finally,
Drafting a memorandum of understanding…
We switched roles at each stage, which gave us the opportunity to try out how it feels to mediate in a cross-border child abduction case. In short: extra-mega-super hard and rewarding at the same time. :) The most important take-away for me from this training was to constantly remember during these cross-border mediations that we are under heavy time-pressure and that the legal qualification of the case has a somewhat stronger influence on the process of mediation itself than usually.
Something I am more than excited to explore in depth next fall in Berlin at the CBFM training of MiKK. I am looking forward to meet Ischtar Khalaf-Newsome (co-CEO, MiKK) and Christoph C. Paul (founder and patron, MiKK) again and to learn more from the first-class pioneers of this field.
And a training is of course never only about the training.
It is also about the complimentary food (excellent!), the opportunity to meet wonderful like-minded professionals coming from lots of different EU member states
(check! … by the way, did you know that judges often mediate in Lithuania? have you ever met a Polish judge passionate about mediation and dedicated to its promotion? have you heard that Hungarian judges can do professional internships at ERA? has a Lawyer with British-French double nationality told you about their experiences with Brexit? ),
and, last but not least, about the marvels of the host city (wow!)…
In sum, I was indeed lucky to be able to participate.
I thank everyone who was involved in the organization and I hope to stay in touch with this international community that was brought together by the promises of Mediation.