Court Mediation and the Search for Justice Through Law

56 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2016

Date Written: 1996


The trend toward court mediation is remarkable because our civil justice system has traditionally promised justice through law. The promise of mediation is different: Justice is derived, not through the operation of law, but through autonomy and self-determination. When mediation occurs in court, significant policy questions arise: What happens to law? To justice? Do they collapse in the experience of self-determination? If so, what then happens to the promise of justice through law particularly where one or both of the parties are not represented by lawyers? These are the questions I address in this article.

My inquiry focuses specifically on the role of law in mediation - how it affects the process, the outcome and, ultimately, the type of justice that parties achieve in court mediation. This subject has been widely noticed, but largely unexamined.

Keywords: justice, mediation, courts, public policy, pro se parties, law and society.

Suggested Citation

Nolan-Haley, Jacqueline M., Court Mediation and the Search for Justice Through Law (1996). 74 Wash. U. L. Q. 47 1996; Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2769000. Available at SSRN:

Jacqueline M. Nolan-Haley (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

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New York, NY 10023
United States
212-636-6849 (Phone)
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