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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 January 2008, 13:23 GMT
University opens mediation clinic
Couple in mediation (generic)
The clinic will be run by staff who are trained mediators
Law students at a Kent university will be able to observe people attempting to settle disputes out of court when its new mediation service opens this term.

Local residents in the city as well as staff and students at Canterbury Christ Church University will be able to use the mediation clinic.

"The new clinic will help develop the university's relationship with local residents," said director Ben Waters.

An 18,000 government cash injection helped launch the project.

Marriage breakdown

The clinic, which is part of the university's new Centre for Law and Dispute Resolution, will be run by staff who are trained and accredited mediators.

It will give advice on personal injury and clinical negligence, employment issues, family and marriage breakdown, business disputes and cases referred by Canterbury County Court.

It will also deal with student, staff and university-related issues.

Canterbury Christ Church believes the clinic is the first of its kind to be based in a university.

"The running of a mediation clinic will complement the students' theoretical studies with practical aspects of law and problem solving," said Mr Waters.

"The Centre for Law and Dispute Resolution aims to instil within the undergraduates a culture of settlement through negotiation and mediation rather than conflict."

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