The German State of Thüringen (Thuringia) analyzed aspects of its judicial system. It recommended that magistrates (judges) hold separate hearings with the parties in conflict. Separate hearings are considered to be besonders hilfreich – especially helpful.
Many attorneys were quoted praising the advantages of separate hearings: “loose, relaxed atmosphere; room to discuss matters other than the conflict itself; each side feels they are taken seriiously; an opportunity to present one’s viewpoint without the other party attacking it; creates a constructive communication climate.”
One of the magistrates underscored the value of holding separate hearings: “For me the most important part of the mediation is the hearing with each party separately. Points are made which are very important to the respective conflict party, points which helped me to better understand the nature of the conflict and which led us to a breakthrough.”