Justice Quality and Accountability in Mediation Practice: A Report
52 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2016 Last revised: 21 Oct 2016
Date Written: 2013
Changes in government policy have led to greatly increased use of mediation as a means of resolving disputes arising in family law, commercial law and civil matters in both courts and tribunals. State and Federal Attorneys-General have seen mediation as an important tool in improving access to justice for ordinary citizens. Ensuring mediation reflects values of the access to justice movement is a goal which policy makers, practitioners, courts and tribunals aspire to. In Victoria, the government has mandated ADR processes (including mediation), stating that the ‘civil litigation system has become out of balance and is increasingly unable to achieve essential goals of accessibility, affordability, proportionality, timeliness and getting to the truth quickly and easily.' Drawing on insights provided by practitioners, mediation service-providers and policy makers, tribunal members and magistrates, we explore the justice quality of mediation and comment on accountability within the mediation field. We examine issues relating to mediation and justice, particularly whether mediation should be concerned with justice and, if so, should it be concerned with procedural or substantive justice or both? In concluding we suggest how the justice quality of mediation could be measured.
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