Mediating Multiculturally: Culture and the Ethical Mediator

MEDIATION ETHICS: CASES & COMMENTARIES, 305-338, Ellen Waldman, ed., San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-28

Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 12-061

35 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2012 Last revised: 30 May 2012

See all articles by Carrie Menkel-Meadow

Carrie Menkel-Meadow

University of California, Irvine School of Law; Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

This commentary on mediating multiculturally in a chapter of Mediation Ethics (edited by Ellen Waldman) suggests there are times when mediators should not mediate, because of their own ethical commitments. Commenting on a hypothetical divorce scenario (of Ziba, a 17 year old from her 44 year old husband, with two children aged 3 and 2, where the parties claim to want Shari’a principles to apply), the author (Carrie Menkel-Meadow) suggests that she would not mediate a case which might violate formal laws (American marriage and divorce laws) or infringe on rights that one of the parties might not be fully aware of. A variety of sources of ethics, including formal law, legal and mediation ethical rules, and personal ethical commitments may structure how mediators choose whether to take a case, educate the parties about their rights, make a referral, or how to mediate if complex (and different for each of the parties and/or the mediator) legal, moral, religious and cultural values are at stake. The chapter contains contrasting views expressed by two different mediators, with summary and commentary by the book’s editor.

Suggested Citation

Menkel-Meadow, Carrie J., Mediating Multiculturally: Culture and the Ethical Mediator (2011). MEDIATION ETHICS: CASES & COMMENTARIES, 305-338, Ellen Waldman, ed., San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-28; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 12-061. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2035003 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2035003

Carrie J. Menkel-Meadow (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Drive
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-1987 (Phone)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9379 (Phone)
202-662-9412 (Fax)

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