Practitioners’ Perception of Court-Connected Mediation in Five Regions: An Empirical Study

28 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2019 Last revised: 24 Nov 2019

See all articles by Shahla F. Ali

Shahla F. Ali

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 22, 2018


Courts throughout the world face the challenge of designing court mediation programs to provide opportunities for party-directed reconciliation on the one hand, while ensuring access to formal legal channels on the other. In some jurisdictions, mandated programs require initial attempts at mediation, while in others, voluntary programs encourage party-selected participation. This Article explores the attitudes and perceptions of eighty-three practitioners implementing court mediation programs in five regions in order to understand the dynamics, challenges, and lessons learned from the perspectives of those directly engaged in the work of administering, representing, and mediating civil claims. Given the highly contextual nature of court mediation programs, this Article highlights achievements, challenges, and lessons learned in the implementation of mediation programs for general civil claims. The principal findings indicate that overall, from the perspective of the court mediation practitioners surveyed, practitioners report slightly higher levels of confidence in mandatory mediation programs, higher perceptions of efficiency with respect to voluntary programs, and regard voluntary and mandatory mediation programs with relatively equal perceptions of fairness. Program achievements largely depend on the functioning of the civil litigation system, the qualities and skill of the mediators, safeguards against bias, participant education, and cultural and institutional support.

Keywords: court mediation, comparative law, empirical legal studies, civil justice

Suggested Citation

Ali, Shahla F., Practitioners’ Perception of Court-Connected Mediation in Five Regions: An Empirical Study (October 22, 2018). Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Oct 2018, Vol. 51, No. 4, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2019/089, Available at SSRN:

Shahla F. Ali (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

Chung Yu Tung Tower (Law), Centennial Campus
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
(852) 3917 2931 (Phone)
(852) 2559-3543 (Fax)


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