Category : Articole
According to the United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation (2012, p.4), mediation is “a process whereby a third party assists two or more parties, with their consent, to prevent, manage or resolve a conflict by helping them to develop mutually acceptable agreements”. For the NY State Unified Court System (2008, no page), it is a “confidential dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party (the mediator) helps disputants identify issues, clarify perceptions and explore options for a mutually acceptable outcome“. More generally, mediation as “a process in which disputants attempt to resolve their differences with the assistance of an acceptable third party” (Kressel, 2006, p.726) is a practice that dates back to Ancient Greece and Rome (Ramsbotham et al., 2011), and although it has witnessed a number of cultural variations, essentially it can be applied, “[…] whether the conflict were between individuals or nations, and irrespective of culture, political ideology or religion. Although the circumstances of an international dispute [….] are very different from the emotional tangle of, for example, a marital one, both ultimately focus on human beings who have to make decisions and to act, and whose passions, fears, hopes, rage and guilt are much the same whoever they are” (Curle, 1986, no page).
In terms of the actual mediation process, some authors like Moore (1987) identified 12 stages, half of which focus on preparation and the other half on actual mediation. Others (Wall, 1981) have identified specific phases (organizing the process, establishing connections with the parties, agenda setting, understanding the relationship between the parties and their constituencies, argumentation and mediation, logistics and consequences of possible settlement, settlement agreement), but also strategies and methods to achieve resolution. Organizations at a community level, like the NYPI (2010), focus on the mediation process alone and identify the following stages: mediator’s opening statement, parties uninterrupted time, mediator summary of positions, mediator clarification questions, issue identification, agenda setting, generating options for resolution, evaluating options, building the agreement, closing of mediation. Rather than a specific process, what most Western institutions (NY State ADR Office, 2008; European Commission, 2004; United Nations, 2012) setting the standards of mediation practices at a national and international level agree on are the following general principles:
The article was written by Claudia Maffettone in May 2016.