There is much pressure on the mediation process to deliver long-term results in short amounts of time. Nevertheless, it appears that parties, clients and lawyers come to mediation unprepared to participate in a meaningful way. Recent research suggests that the time and space before mediation is valuable for the parties to mentally and practically prepare. This article presents the results from a study of 80 Australian mediators which show that the range of processes that mediators employ in pre-mediation is wide. The results show that mediators mostly focus on information gathering, explanation of process, and advice to parties in these processes, possibly at the expense of understanding the parties’ mental states, well-being and emotional preparation. This article argues that it is time for the mediation field to step up its research, practice and training in the area of pre-mediation and find its balance between information and preparation.
|Journal||Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2017|