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N ANGKHA N ANGDRIK IN THE L AND OF THE T HUNDER D RAGON James Duffy Queensland University of Technology 1.

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Presentation on theme: "N ANGKHA N ANGDRIK IN THE L AND OF THE T HUNDER D RAGON James Duffy Queensland University of Technology 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 N ANGKHA N ANGDRIK IN THE L AND OF THE T HUNDER D RAGON James Duffy Queensland University of Technology 1

2 I NTRODUCTION The Kingdom of Bhutan is a country on the move In July 2008, Bhutan transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy The Constitution and a number of pieces of national legislation make specific reference to alternative dispute resolution. An alternative dispute resolution Bill will come before the Bhutanese parliament in early 2012. 2

3 W HY IS B HUTAN I NTERESTED IN ADR? The Courts are dealing well with workflow Having a matter heard in Court is not incredibly expensive Villages are geographically spread and sometimes quite isolated; cost and time associated with travel to courts. Adversarial nature of court system conflicts with Buddhist principles of compromise, social harmony and preservation of relationships. There is a strong tradition of mediation in Bhutan 3

4 C APACITY B UILDING OF M EDIATION IN B HUTAN Psychologist and educator Col McCowan OAM, Professor Melinda Shirley and James Duffy travelled to Bhutan in September 2011 and taught a course on facilitative mediation to lawyers in government departments. Deliver similar course to Bhutanese judiciary in February 2012. If we are going to teach (and promote) the facilitative model of mediation, we need to justify why that model is appropriate for Bhutan. 4

5 D RAWING C ONNECTIONS Facilitative mediation should be developed in Bhutan because it is consistent with government policy of Gross National Happiness, psychological understandings of happiness and Buddhist values. 5

6 A G RAPHICAL C ONNECTION Facilitative Mediation Gross National Happiness Happiness Psychology Buddhism 6

7 G ROSS N ATIONAL H APPINESS In the late 1980s King Jigme Singye Wangchuck stated ‘Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product’ From a legal perspective, due to the uniqueness of this policy concept, international attention has now focussed on the ability of Bhutan to promulgate laws (and a legal system) that are consistent with Gross National Happiness. How can facilitative mediation be said to promote happiness? 7

8 W HAT DOES THE FIELD OF P SYCHOLOGY TELL US ABOUT H APPINESS ? The field of Positive Psychology has focussed on the meaning of happiness and how it might be increased. Many different definitions for happiness, but they fall under two categories Hedonistic Happiness Eudaimonic Happiness 8

9 H APPINESS Hedonistic Happiness refers to high levels of positive affect and low levels of negative affect. (Hefferon, 2011) Eudaimonic Happiness refers to the feelings that accompany behaviour in the direction of, and consistent with, one’s true potential (Waterman 1984) According to Eudaimonism, happiness is more than simple pleasure and satisfaction. Whilst pleasure is certainly incidental to happiness, happiness is better viewed as a way of living (actualisation of human potential), not a transient state that comes and goes. 9

10 E UDAIMONIC H APPINESS Eudaimonic happiness is the goal of Bhutan’s GNH policy Bhutan’s 2020 Vision document, states that one of the main objectives of Gross National Happiness is to ‘maximise the happiness of all Bhutanese and to enable them to achieve their full and innate potential as human beings.’ Facilitative mediation has the potential to promote eudaimonic happiness, because the goals and by-products of facilitative mediation represent key components of eudaimonic happiness. Self determination and party autonomy are both identified as foundation values of facilitative mediation and contributors to eudaimonic happiness. 10

11 S ELF D ETERMINATION T HEORY Self Determination theory posits that human beings ‘strive to be self governed, where their behaviour is volitional, intentional and self caused or self initiated.’ (Wehmeyer and Little, 2009) Ryan et al have suggested that self determination promotes psychological health when an individual’s needs for autonomy, competency and relatedness are satisfied. 11

12 S ELF D ETERMINATION T HEORY The need for autonomy refers to a sense of choice and volition in the regulation of behaviour. The need for competence concerns the sense of efficacy one has with respect to both internal and external environments. The need for relatedness refers to feeling connected to and cared about by others. Facilitative mediation promotes these needs better than other models of mediation 12

13 T HE B UDDHIST O VERLAY As the last [Buddhist] Mahayana kingdom, Bhutan has inherited a philosophy of life which is deep rooted in its religious traditions and institutions. Basic values like compassion, respect for life and nature, social harmony, compromise, and prevalence of individual development over material achievements have had direct impact on policy making. Achieving a balance between spiritual and material aspects of life, between Peljor Gongphel (economic development) and Gakid (happiness and peace) is both a cultural imperative and a political objective. (Mathou, 2000) 13

14 T HE B UDDHIST O VERLAY (2) Buddhist teachings suggest that in times of conflict, an individual’s need to be right, to be in control, to win an argument at the expense of another all ‘spring from an ego that has not yet learned the disciplines of nonattachment and nonaggression.’ (Harvey Cox et al, 1992) As Buddhism is a non-theistic religion, it teaches the individual to take full responsibility for their being and the conduct of their life. 14

15 T HE B UDDHIST O VERLAY (3) Facilitative mediation encourages individuals to overcome conflict/craving in a self determining fashion. It provides a forum where individuals can autonomously engage with a conflict, truly understand what they are seeking/what is making them unhappy and develop options that might end their conflict. The facilitative model has arguably stronger connections with Buddhism (than other mediation models), because of its emphasis on self determination and individual responsibility. The qualities of compassion, empathy, tolerance and material detachment fostered by interest based dialogue, are the same qualities that are linked to an individual’s path to enlightenment/Nirvana. 15

16 F INAL T HOUGHTS Just like the contrast between Gross National Happiness and Gross Domestic Product, it is important to remember that the means to an end are often just as important as the end itself. This is certainly true with respect to the way conflict is managed and potentially resolved. This presentation has suggested that a greater focus on process based facilitative mediation would be a meaningful advancement to alternative dispute resolution in Bhutan. 16

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