Charles Nupen is an attorney and an Alternative Dispute Resolution specialist. After several years of legal practice, most notably at the Legal Resources Centre, a public interest law firm, where he served under Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson, he was appointed executive director of the Independent Mediation Service of South Africa (IMSSA) in 1987.
From 1987 to 1995 he steered IMSSA’s growth into a national organisation, and conducted several hundred mediations and arbitrations across all sectors of the South African economy. In 1994 he was appointed as a commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission which oversaw South Africa’s first national democratic elections. In 1995/6, under the auspices of the International Labour Organisation a Geneva based UN agency, he assisted in the establishment of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration, South Africa’s first national public dispute settlement agency and then served as the CCMA’s first executive director. From 1998 to 2008 he directed technical co operation projects in Africa for the ILO. He has facilitated labour law reform projects and the establishment of several national dispute settlement agencies in Southern African countries. He has conducted conciliation and mediation training in South Africa, the Philippines, Italy and the Republic of Ireland. He has presented at International Conferences in the USA, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Australia, Japan and South Africa..
Since 2008 he has been consulting in the field of employee relations and has been involved in high level interventions to resolve commercial disputes, labour disputes, and to address dysfunctional relationships and systems in corporate settings and in professional service firms. He has in recent times focussed on addressing pathologies which beset workplace relationships which involve a range of remedial interventions. He has also managed major multi stakeholder negotiations in both the public and private sectors.
In 2009 he received Tokiso’s Mediator of the Year award. He is the executive chairman of a boutique consulting company Stratalign. In 2013 he recommenced legal practice in the firm Harris Nupen Molebatsi Inc. He is a Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (UK) accredited commercial mediator and he has served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Cape Town.