Mandatory Mediation: An Oxymoron? Examining the Feasibility of Implementing a Court-Mandated Mediation Program
Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol 11.2 (Spring 2010)
32 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2016
Date Written: January 1, 2010
Since the introduction of the "multi-door courthouse" concept at the Pound Conference, court-annexed mediation programs have been established in increasing number. The courts' increasing association with mediation programs begs the question of whether they should compel disputing parties to attempt mediation, especially in jurisdictions where mediation has not been widely utilized.
This paper examines the current debate concerning court-mandated mediation and evaluates other jurisdictions' approaches. The author uses a "continuum of mandatoriness" to analyse the differing levels of compulsion, and argues that mandatory mediation only becomes a cause for concern in certain situations along the continuum. The paper recommends ways to design the program in a way that does not impinge upon the parties' autonomy within mediation.
Keywords: mandatory mediation, oxymoron, court-annexed mediation
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