Unwrapping Court-Connected Mediation Agreements

Unwrapping Court-Connected Mediation Agreements

Mediation literature generally recognizes that there is no clear and consistent understanding of what is meant by “mediation.” The amount of time following mediation with respect to delays before implementation of an agreement; or how much of a delay longer than a study of the long-term effectiveness of mediation could reveal. There is also no regular consideration of the duration of mediation in the process: for example, whether the concept of mediation may include a whole day process, a process that takes place during several meetings convened on separate days, and a one-hour process. In this article, we focus on the outcome of judicial mediation. We examine whether the negotiated agreements reached in court reflect the self-determination of the party. First, previous studies are outlined on the content of mediation agreements. We present the context of judicial mediation in Norway and Denmark and the methodology of our study. Most of the article presents the results of our analysis. We end with a discussion about our results. The use of deadlines is a kind of safeguard. As can be seen in the examples of the agreements in the above section, the use of deadlines is widespread (in 82% of agreements).

We see how the pieces of money must be paid in full or in installments within certain time frames, how the work must be done before a given day and other types of obligations that must be fulfilled within a set time frame. There is a significant lack of knowledge about people`s attitude and management of conflict, including responses to mediation in Aboriginal and other different cultural and socio-economic settings. Many of the study`s agreements are “framed” by similar opening and concluding phrases. Typical opening phrases are “like an out-of-court settlement,” or “full and final settlement” or “Mr. Grey pays Ms. Grey in full and final settlement.” The recurring models in the final sentences are, for example.B.m., “each party pays its own costs” and “the parties demand that the matter be completely dismissed and waive the announcement of the dismissal decision.” The parties have no other claims against each other in the case. (Mediation 118) We argue for greater emphasis on the impact of these practices. The main objective of mediation is to develop strong agreements based on the interests and needs of the parties. Our analysis suggests that the agreements are sound in terms of content, but not in terms of wording. We ask for a critical reflection on this practice. This month, the ADRRN blog focuses on research and researches your contribution to interesting and innovative approaches to mediation studies.

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