Serbian National Association of Mediators
Following the trends in other countries, mediation in Serbia is becoming a recognized and widespread method of alternative dispute resolution. In recent decades, mediation took precedence over other traditional methods of dispute resolution and often was the first choice of public institutions, businessmen, lawyers, NGOs and citizens to resolve various types of conflicts, while efficient judicial systems are not possible without functional linkages with a developed mediation system.
In order to fully realize the benefits of mediation in conflict prevention and resolution and to establish an effective and accessible system of mediation services, mediators in Serbia joined forces on 25 October 2014 and established a voluntary, independent, non-governmental and non-profit association, representing at the moment over 268 mediators, from 30 different professions and 34 Serbian cities, from Subotica to Bujanovac and from Novi Pazar to Pirot. NUMS members include judges, lawyers, professors, doctors, social workers, bankers, teachers, psychologists, bankruptcy managers, civil servants, business people, engineers, CSO activists, journalists, ombudspersons, students, and other retired and active professionals, which makes NUMS a unique professional association in the country.
NUMS has already established good working contact with the Ministry of Justice of Serbia and assists the Ministry in the process of licensing of mediators and supports and coordinates mediation outreach efforts throughout Serbia.
The Association operates on a purely non-profit basis. All persons elected in the management bodies of NUMS donate their time and serve on a pro-bono basis, without compensation. NUMS will provide continuing training services for its members and other interested participants in accordance with the training accreditations system put in place by the new Law on Mediation. NUMS as an organization does NOT provide any paid mediation services, as the NUMS Statute provides that the main goals of the organization are development and promotion of mediation and awareness raising of stakeholders and the general public. However, NUMS will organize the provision of free mediation services to citizens in need and underprivileged and marginalized groups of population. NUMS maintains a publicly available list of mediators who will provide free mediation services, in accordance with the new Law, and will encourage its members to register for free legal aid mediation services, as stipulated in the new Draft Law on Free Legal Aid.