The two-week course, entitled „Mediation and other methods to foster democratic dialogue” facilitated the exchange of ideas and cooperative projects among mediation scholars, practitioners, trainers, and students in the East and West. Through lecture, discussion, demonstration and role-plays, students were introduced to mediation and facilitation theory and skills and examined the impact of culture and context on the consensus-building approach adopted. The course also examined a variety of strategies to foster and support democratic and constructive dialogue. Case examples focused on both civil and criminal mediation models and scenarios from both the United States and Central and Eastern Europe, including efforts in Central and Eastern Europe to promote meaningful democratic dialogue in times of crisis involving high-conflict situations and inter-ethnic tensions.
Dr. Fellegi’s presentations gave an overview to the attendants about facilitation and mediation of disputes involving ethnic differences and the attitudes of judges and prosecutors towards restorative justice and victim-offender mediation in Hungary.
The presentations got positive feedback, and caught the interest of a wide range of attendants. The quotations listed below are from attendants’ final reports:
„Prof Borbala Fellegi gave a wonderful presentation today about the place of mediation in Hungary’s criminal justice system...”
„I was touched by the stories of the wonderful guest lecturers, especially Borbala Fellegi, when she described restorative justice practices in Hungarian prisons that are actually quite similar to the programming currently being done in Minnesota...”
"The movie about the conflict in the Hungarian town between youth and elders, Roma- non Roma etc. was fascinating to me, especially the exercise where people were given roles and asked to step forward when they agreed with statements about their characters' lives.... [the facilitation exercise in class] and the aforementioned film, made me realize how much I need to work on putting myself in other people's shoes."
The presentations can be downloaded here and here. The detailed programme can be downloaded here.