Advanced Mediation Certificate of the Program of Negotiation at Harvard Law School (HLS)

Congratulation to our Dr Benjamin Poh who has completed and obtained the Advanced Mediation certificate of the Program of Negotiation at Harvard Law School (HLS).

HLS had selected 48 professional mediators annually from all over the world for the advanced mediation workshop. The 48 professional mediators came from United States, Britain, Canada, South Africa, Australia and Hong Kong, and our Dr Benjamin Poh is the only lawyer from Malaysia.

This is a practical workshop taught by HLS and MIT faculty. The entire workshop lasts for five days with intensive studies and role play as private and public mediator. Participants requires to do homework, read thousand of pages of workshop reading materials and case discussion. The workshop uses HLS case study approach to allow participants to role play as professional mediators, co-mediators, meditation counsels, disputants, etc. Each day the faculty provides lectures and demonstrations on ways of conducting mediation effectively, design of efficient dispute resolution process. The faculty also reviews and provides feedbacks on participants’ conflicts management skills, and how their mediation process and procedure design used to deal with complex multi-party private and public disputes. Participants are required to provide feedbacks on their and their peers’ performance during the simulated mediation. Participants must attend and participate in the 5 intensive days of workshop with preparation and role play before they can obtain the certificate of completion.

The cases used for this workshop include cases on commercial disputes, family disputes, labor disputes, public dispute on 911 attacks in the United States and the reconstruction of the New York World Trade Center, public dispute between the US state government water department and the people, public and private land development dispute with ethnic minorities, etc. 

After completing this course, Dr Benjamin Poh said he gained a better understanding of HLS way of mediation and negotiation. At the same time, he had opportunity to learn to communicate with professional mediators from different parts of world, and understand better the ways they mediate disputes. Finally, he personally felt that going to the court to resolve disputes is often not the best way. Educate and assist the disputants to negotiate based on their interests and concerns rather than their legal positions, are sometimes the best way to achieve a better outcome and understanding amongst themselves.

He said his learnings with HLS faculty and peers from different parts of the world will definitely help him to better resolve and mediate complex private and public disputes. He believe it is important to teach the younger generations especially the lawyers in Malaysia, about the HLS way of dispute resolution and negotiation, so that they can help more disputants to resolve disputes effectively and efficiently, and make Malaysia a more peaceful and harmonious place to live in.