Einführungsvortrag von Rechtsanwältin Kerstin Gröne (r.), neben ihr auf dem Podium: RA Jan Helge Kestel; Joachim Hecker, Deutsche Botschaft Tiflis; David Asatiani, Vorstandsmitglied der georgischen Anwaltskammer; Teresa Thalhammer, IRZ (v.l.n.r.)
Introductory lecture by lawyer Kerstin Gröne (right), next to her on the panel: lawyer Jan Helge Kestel; Joachim Hecker, German Embassy in Tbilisi; David Asatiani, member of the board of the Georgian Bar Association; Teresa Thalhammer, IRZ (from left to right)

The IRZ, in cooperation with the German Federal Bar Association and the Georgian Bar Association organised an event on mediation in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 17 and 18 October. Georgia’s legal system is making first approaches for an introduction of mediation as an alternative method of dispute settlement, which is mainly conducted by lawyers there. Therefore, the Georgian lawyers showed great interest in learning more about the German experience with mediation.

A one and a half day workshop took place on this topic as part of the initiative “Law – made in Germany“ addressing Georgian lawyers. Two Georgian lawyers, who are already certified mediators under the Georgian system, outlined the Georgian model of mediation through lawyers and their experiences made so far.

The German mediators Kerstin Gröne, a mediator and lawyer from the Cologne law firm Luther, her counterpart Jan Helge Kestel, a mediator and partner at the Erfurt law firm Caemmerer Lenz, and the President of the Bar Association of Thuringia, gave an overview of the legal provisions of mediation through lawyers in Germany. They also covered training and legal issues relating to the profession of mediation.

The focus, however, was on the practical aspects of mediation such as assessment of litigation risk and questioning techniques which were explained on the basis of case studies. Lively discussions and a vivid exchange of views ensued among the colleagues. The workshop was opened by Joachim Hecker, Head of the Divisions for Business as well as Legal and Consular Affairs of the German Embassy in Tbilisi, lawyer Dr. Veronika Horrer, Managing Director of the German Federal Bar Association, and Zaza Khatiashvili, President of the Georgian Bar Association.

This event was another cornerstone in the long-standing and productive partnership between the bar associations of Georgia and Germany, facilitated by the IRZ.