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Patrick Scott is the only professionally registered mediator on Arran, but his work is not widely understood in Scotland. To find out more, the Banner’s Colin Smeeton met up with Patrick at his home in Whiting Bay to learn more about the practice and learn what being a mediator involves.
After practicing as an advocate in South Africa for 30 years, and then moving to Arran in 2017, Patrick Scott was faced with major difficulties when trying to convert his qualifications to allow him to continue with his career as an advocate in Scotland.
Not wanting to retire from a working life, he has embarked on a new, but related, career as a mediator.
Although he had already undergone a short training course on mediation in South Africa, at the time he did not envisage becoming a professional mediator. But the move to Arran, coupled with the impracticalities and difficulties of continuing the practice of an advocate, refocused Patrick’s attention on the advantages of pursuing a career as a mediator.
In September 2017, he registered for a Master’s degree in mediation and conflict resolution at Strathclyde University, attending classes in Glasgow for six months, and then completing his dissertation, entitled ‘Mandatory mediation: golden goblet or poisoned chalice?’ which deals with the effect of compulsory mediation on the parties insofar as their satisfaction with the process is concerned.
Patrick is now registered as a mediator with Scottish Mediation, the professional body for mediators in Scotland, and he has started his own practice, operating from Arran.
At present, he is the only mediator in Ayrshire who is registered with Scottish Mediation, and he is also the only mediator on Arran. In his practice, he deals with business and commercial mediations, family matters, community, neighbour, housing and property issues, and workplace and employment disputes.
The concept of mediation is not widely understood in Scotland, and Patrick is available to give presentations to any organisation or group on Arran, or on the mainland, who would like to know more about mediation, to explain what it is and what the benefits of mediation are.
In essence, mediation is a relatively inexpensive and expeditious way of resolving disputes between parties, with the least possible negative impact on the relationship between them.
Patrick is also available to mediate disputes between parties. A typical mediation takes about two hours, with a high percentage of success. As the mediator, he would help the parties talk to each other about a possible resolution of their problem.
Mediation can be conducted through private sessions with each of the parties, with the mediator acting as an intermediary, or in joint sessions with both parties and the mediator together in the room at the same time, or a combination of both. Mediations can also be conducted by telephone.
What distinguishes mediation from other methods of dispute resolution is that the parties determine the outcome, with the mediator acting as a facilitator, but not passing judgment on the merits of either party’s case. The parties retain control over whether or not they want to settle, and the terms of any settlement. An important aspect of mediation is that they are confidential, thereby protecting the privacy of the parties, and enabling them to disclose information without fear of any repercussions.
Any group or organisation interested in a presentation on mediation, or anyone who has a dispute requiring resolution, can contact Patrick on 01770 700516 or 07572 258633 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mediator Patrick Scott who has set up a practice on Arran. No_B09patrick01