Traditional ideas of mediator neutrality and impartiality have come under increasing attack in recent decades. There is, however, a lack of consensus on what should replace them. Mediation Ethics offers a response to this question, developing a new theory of mediation that emphasises its nature as a relational process.
The authors argue that mediation ethics should move away from the untenable notions of mediator neutrality and impartiality and towards a focus on party self-determination. They supplement this focus with a view of mediation ethics as emerging dynamically from the efforts of mediators to respond to the unique needs and interests of the parties. This new paradigm provides the basis for a picture of the mediation profession as a community with its own internal standards of excellence, as well as a more sophisticated and realistic ethical framework for mediation practice.
Academics in law, social work and psychology will appreciate the book’s nuanced account of the dynamics of mediation as a dispute resolution process. Mediation practitioners, including lawyers, social workers and counselors, will find the book a practical and helpful guide to addressing ethical dilemmas. And students of mediation will benefit from the book’s clear and up to date overview of the development and principles of mediation ethics.
‘This book provides a thought-provoking re-examination of two of mediation’s central characteristics, neutrality and impartiality, setting out a fresh ethical framework for achieving mediation’s primary objective, namely, consensual, informed party-controlled decision-making. This book, drawing on a rich body of theory and research, will provide a valuable resource for all those interested in the theory and practice of mediation.’
– Marian Roberts, family mediator and author
‘In Mediation Ethics, Rachael Field and Jonathan Crowe deconstruct the foundation of modern mediation ethics and then reconstruct it in a creative and insightful way. They analyze the problems created by deriving mediation’s ethical framework from a commitment to neutrality and impartiality and argue instead for a focus on empowerment and self-determination. In doing so, they not only provide a much more useful approach to ethical decision making but they also point to a new way to think about the practice of mediation itself. This is an extremely useful, well reasoned, and well presented contribution to the conflict engagement field.’
– Bernie Mayer, Creighton University, US
1. Introduction: The Need for a New Paradigm of Mediation Ethics
2. The Foundational Paradigm of Contemporary Mediation
3. The Development of Mediation Ethics
4. Neutrality and Party Self-Determination
5. The Myth of Mediator Neutrality
6. The Empty Idea of Mediator Impartiality
7. Party Self-Determination and the Mediation Language Game
8. Ethics and the Mediation Profession
9. A New Conceptual Framework for Mediation Ethics
10. Four Guidelines for Ethical Mediation Practice
11. Conclusion: Towards an Appropriate Ethical Paradigm for Mediation
For more information (or to order your copy), see https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/mediation-ethics.