Mediation Quality

The benefits of mediation to society, individuals and the justice system are numerous and these make mediation a process fast increasing in popularity and usage in many quarters. There has been an increase in the use of mediation in the courts, the community sector and even within government. In Australia, mediation quality is promoted through the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) Approval and Practice Standards. Research, however, shows that ensuring quality in mediation goes beyond provisions of the NMAS partly because applying the standards to ethical and practical issues that may arise in a particular context may bring to the fore conflicts between the standards. An example of such a conflict is between the requirements of self-determination and a mediator’s ethical obligation to terminate or withdraw when it appears to the mediator that the proposed outcome is so unfair that it shocks the conscience. Maintaining a balance between the two creates a further dilemma for mediators. How does a mediator address the fairness of a proposed outcome in order to make a decision regarding termination or withdrawal? To address this dilemma, mediators go beyond the NMAS, reaching out to, and making decisions based on personal values, other professional values (and obligations which they may be bound by in any case) and sometimes ask the question: Can I live with this?

What values inform [your] decision-making when faced with ethical dilemmas in mediation?

See: Justice Quality and Accountability in Mediation – a report

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This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Dr Lola Akin Ojelabi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dr Lola Akin Ojelabi

Dr Akin Ojelabi is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law, La Trobe University. Her research interests are in the fields of conflict resolution including alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and international law. Her ADR research focuses on issues of fairness and justice, in particular, access to justice for vulnerable/disadvantaged citizens, process design, and culture. In the field of international law, her interest is in the role of international institutions, particularly the United Nations, in the resolution of disputes and how international law principles promote peace and justice globally.

4 thoughts on “Mediation Quality

  1. Lola

    This is an important issue in mediation practice

    Not only is it about “can I live with this” as a mediator but what do my peers think i.e. in the context of an agency or a panel of sessional mediators. The support of a community of practice in the context of an agency or where the mediator is a private provider with her peers is vital to support ethical practice.

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    • I agree, Kathy. Research shows that some mediators would consult with colleagues on ethical issues that arise during mediation before proceeding. If need be, they would adjourn the mediation to enable that to happen.

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    • I agree, Kathy. Research shows that mediators would consult with colleagues on ethical issues that arise during mediation before proceeding. If need be, they would adjourn the mediation to enable that to happen.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Mediation Quality | Law and Justice

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