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Mediation’s Popularity

Mediation’s Popularity

Why do you think mediation isn’t more widely used as a method of dispute resolution?



Full Transcript

Well, there are two things . . . there are many things that are working into this. Through my career, and when you said 30 years, every time I hear that, I say, ‘No, I can’t be that old.’


I’ve met with people throughout the world and I talk about mediation and their answer is, ‘Oh, we do that’ but they don’t call it mediation. So we’ve got to understand that mediation is occurring, but it may not be defined the way we define it. As a result, we’re not capturing all of that data and information.


Secondly, the legal systems, and this is something that everybody on this webcast knows about, legal systems are different. In the United States, mediation was really pushed because of the costliness of litigation and the fact that our court systems were overburdened.


Outside the United States, the legal systems are such, it’s not the same. But what we’re trying to do, what’s trying to push the use of mediation outside the United States, is those global companies who need to do business in countries where they don’t trust the legal system. So that, eventually, will be pushing mediation, but we need to develop the structure within those countries to support mediation.


If a country doesn’t have that structure in place, qualified mediators, court systems that support the process, educated people who understand the process, then it’s like walking into a blind pool.


One of the things that IMI is trying to do, and we’ve successfully done it in Singapore, is develop a relationships with organisations and create IMI-like entities. So in Singapore we now have the Singapore International Mediation Institute. They are locally instituting the credentialing and the structure that I just talked about in the East Asia area.


Now we’re working on similar initiatives in Africa, in South America, and in Eastern Europe. Those will push, but all of these take time. I think that the fact that people are connecting more by Skype and other online means, will push it even faster, but there’s still a lot of resistance.


We could look at the EU directive. Think about it, why isn’t mediation used more in the European Union? The answer may be the structure of the EU directive, which basically says to the States, ‘Develop mediation, but do it your own way.’ So you have everybody running around, experimenting in different ways and it’s just not sparking the way it should. But that also may go back to the legal structure in the European Union.

About the mediator

Deb Masucci Profile Pic

Deborah Masucci is currently Chair and Board Member of the International Mediation Institute (IMI) and was former Chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Dispute Resolution Section with over 9,000 members worldwide. She is a Board member for Access ADR. She is a member of the International Arbitration Club of New York. She also serves as a full time arbitrator and mediator. Deborah was recruited to AIG in 2003 to establish its Office o... View Mediator