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Regulating Mediation Accreditation

Regulating Mediation Accreditation

Should different aspects of mediation, such as accreditation, be regulated differently?

 

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That’s what people are trying to do in the accreditation standards bucket. And I think with these buckets there’s also this other question of what sort of bucket do you want to have. So you’re talking about what’s in the buckets. Right? But the other piece is, is it a metal bucket? Is it a plastic bucket? Or is it going to be a cardboard bucket or something else? Because it doesn’t all have to be legislation, we can choose to let case law develop around certain buckets. We can choose to leave it to the marketplace or private contract. We can choose, as has been deliberately done in Hong Kong and Australia, we can choose as a community with the backing of the government, to say ‘Let the mediation community develop uniform standards for accreditation for general mediators in that jurisdiction’ no legislation whatsoever. Right? The hand of the law is well away.

But it’s still at deliberate regulatory policy. So the texture and the material of those buckets can be different, and they can also change. For example, one view in Hong Kong is we now have in Hong Kong, as of last year, an industry body called the ‘Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association’, which is a Hong Kong-wide body, and all accreditation is done through that body. There is a view that this will be the first bucket, if you like, for accreditation. And that in a number of years instead of an industry bucket it will become a statutory bucket

Sometimes when I think of regulation I go, ‘Oh my gosh, when we regulate we can’t change anything.’ But depending on the material that your bucket’s made out of, the regulatory form, you can actually change. And the softer the regulatory form the easier it is to change, particularly as the profession, the field develops.

About the mediator

Nadja Alexander is an award winning author and educator (2011, 2007, 1997) and a conflict intervention professional. She holds professorial appointments Australia and the United States and has taught mediation at universities and in corporate settings all over the world. Nadja is an independent adviser on mediation policy to national governments and international bodies, such as the World Bank Group. She has been engaged in the field of confl... View Mediator