26 Nov 2007

Mediation championed as way to help Tonga move forward

6:00 am on 26 November 2007

The International Finance Corporation, or IFC, which is part of the World Bank, is championing mediation as a way to help move Tonga forward.

Tonga has held a week of legal training that provided education in how to settle arguments.

The public were informed of the issue through broadcasts, while officials attended seminars.

All civil disputes can be solved through mediation, but a senior investment policy officer at the IFC, Alan Moody, says it will be beneficial for businesspeople in particular.

"The businesses in Tonga, they have got a lot on their plate at the moment with the reconstruction, with recovering from the financial impact of last year's civil unrest. To the extent that you can ease their burden in little ways like this. It's successful, it's less time that they have to spend worrying about a dispute. They have enough on the plate now to be worrying about than to be having long legal processes."

Alan Moody says mediation also saves money.