Nature of the Organisation
The Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC) is the professional body of practitioners in Nigeria that regulates and sets standards for the practice of Mediation and Conciliation and encourages organizations and institutions to adopt Mediation and Conciliation as the primary mechanisms for addressing disputes. ICMC also trains and certifies professional Mediators and Conciliators, and inducts them into the Institute as Associate Members (AICMC), Members (MICMC) and Fellows (FICMC).
Purpose of the Institute
The Institute of chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC) is a body established in 1999 for the purpose of:
- Training & certifying persons aspiring to be professional negotiators, mediators, conciliators and peace builders across Nigeria, and induct them into the Institute
- Promoting, regulating and building capacity for use of mediation and conciliation as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in the effective administration of Justice; enhance law and order and promote access to justice in Nigeria.
- Promote integration of continuous dialogue, peace building and popular participation in policies of governance.
- Promote peace and harmonious coexistence at home, at work and in the society at large
Size of the Institute
ICMC has been building critical mass of ADR practitioners, cutting across all major disciplines and fields of human endeavor. Membership of the institute remains open to all professionals including but not limited to lawyers, jurists, bankers, the police, the armed forces and other paramilitary agencies, government regulatory agencies, civil and labour administrators, professionals and consultants, political and religious leaders, traditional rulers, union leaders and others who find themselves in leadership or mentorship positions..
ICMC currently has over 8,000 members
Mediation vs Arbitration
Mediation on the other hand, is a private, informal, voluntary dispute resolution process where a third party neutral (the Mediator) assists the disputing parties in arriving at a negotiated settlement. The Mediator builds rapport with the parties and empowers them to resolve their dispute using their own resources. Mediation is based on the principle of self-determination. The Mediator does not impose his/her opinion on the disputing parties. Because it is party-driven, the parties are more likely to abide by the terms of settlement at the end of the process.
Some other advantages of Mediation include:
- Easily accessible to private, public and commercial consumers
- Reduces case dockets of judges in civil matters and decongests the courts.
- Reduces monetary cost of resolving disputes
- Saves enormous time spent in litigation and court adjournment
- Encourages resolution suited to parties needs
- Promotes accommodation and tolerance
- Promotes peace and harmonious coexistence in the society
- Encourages foreign investment
Structure of the Institute
The Institute currently has the following structure:
- The General Body
- The Governing Council
- The Board of Trustees
- The Executive Committee
- The Registry
- Training Faculty
The General Body comprises all inducted members of the Institute. It is the highest decision-making organ of the Institute and operates through the annual general meeting (AGM). The AGM is held annually.
The Governing Council takes decisions on behalf of the Institute, and it is composed of high-ranking members of the Institute, drawn from various fields and professions. The President of the Institute serves as the Chairman of the Governing Council..
The Board of Trustees is the legal title holders of the Institute and comprises mainly pioneer members of the Institute. The Patrons are persons of very high repute, who serve as an Advisory Body to the Governing Council of the Institute.
Our economy will certainly thrive when business owners can reduce the amount spent on avoidable and end-less litigations. Our courts are usually overloaded.Court procedure is very formal and technical leaving parties exhausted, embittered and often impoverished. It is best suited for ONLY criminal, constitutional and other rights-based issues.
On the other hand, mediation, conciliation and arbitration are the major ADR mechanisms for the effective administration of Justice and amicable dispute resolution. Yes, mediation skills are life-skills for building and sustaining relationships. People with the skills help in promoting peace and harmonious coexistence at work, at home and in the society at large.
These are trying times for our nation, Nigeria. Undoubtedly, the need for Mediation in our present dispensation in harmonizing different and divergent views cannot be over-emphasized. Mediation can be used for speedy resolution of civil, commercial, industrial, communal and political disputes.
With a vision and goal of promoting the training of all stakeholders in Mediation and Conciliation skills and regulating the practice in Nigeria, the Institute is very well position to bring these laudable objectives to fruition.