Global Trends in Mediation
in Trenzcek, Thomas; Berning, Detlev; Lenz, Cristina; Will, Hans-Dieter (eds), Mediation und Konfliktmanagement Praxishandbook (2nd Edn.), Baden-Baden, Nomos-Verlag, 2017
16 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2019 Last revised: 1 Jul 2019
Date Written: September 1, 2017
Forty years after the Pound Conference in the United States at which Professor Frank Sander shared his vision of ADR and the multi-door courthouse, the inaugural Global Pound Conference (GPC 2016-2017) is traversing the globe. Launched in Singapore and finishing in London, the GPC Series is a not-for-profit global project bringing together stakeholders in dispute resolution at events in 40 cities around the world. It is a platform for provoking debate on existing tools and techniques, stimulating new ideas and generating actionable data on what corporate and individual dispute resolution users actually need and want, both locally and globally. As its forerunner, the Pound Conference, the GPC is a milestone. It celebrates the emergence of mediation and ADR as a significant dispute resolution narrative around the world.
The mediation narrative embraces stories about diverse practices, communities and courts, increasing institutionalisation, regulation, accreditation, standards, research and theoretical developments. Some storytellers say that mediation is the tale of how legal systems are being rescued from their otherwise likely demise from non-affordability, in-accessibility, anonymity and over-legalisation. This is the story of mediation as an alter-native dispute resolution (ADR) process. Others point to the fact that mediation in many countries is no longer alternative. Rather it is increasingly becoming a mainstream and integrated part of many legal systems, thereby extending concepts of justice, law and dispute resolution. This is the story of institutionalisation. Yet other storytellers tell the tale of the development of mediation from a life skill to a profession fuelled by the rapid growth in accreditation standards on national, regional and international levels – the story of the professionalisation of the field. Finally there are those who see mediation as the epic tale itself. Mediation is viewed as a significant tradition in its own right – moving across, influencing, and being influenced by, other major traditions of law, society and culture. Together these stories weave a tapestry of our social and cultural experience of mediation and define mediation as a narrative, a practice and a profession. This chapter draws on all of these stories in an attempt to capture the most significant and pressing developments emerging in the field of mediation globally. It identifies10 trends that characterise the current status of professional mediation practice and are likely to play a pivotal role in shaping its future.
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