Mediation involves neutral third party intervention to facilitate settlement of disputes (Section II). It is on the rise (Section IV), partly because it is encouraged by Government in various ways (Section V) and by the European Union (Section VI). Detailed global investigation of mediation (see notes 1 and 2, and Sections VII and VIII) reveals general support for the “voluntary principle” (Section IV), namely, (1) parties should not be compelled to mediate; (2) at all times the process should be under their joint consensual control; and (3) the parties must be completely free to agree whether to settle and on what terms. Including endorsement of the voluntary principle, the author proposes six fundamental principles within this field (Section III).
This survey of modern international experience draws upon four large anthologies of national reports, various studies of mediation in particular regions or jurisdictions, general cross-border studies of the subject, the author’s discussion with colleagues over many years and specific information obtained for the purpose of the present report.
Section II concerns the main characteristics of mediation. Section III notes different attempts to produce a canon of fundamental principles. Section IV concerns the factors which underlie the modern growth of this technique. Section V explores official responses to the under-use of mediation. Sections VI to VIII are summaries of non-English experience, arranged with reference to the European Directive (VI), European jurisdictions (VII) and non-European jurisdictions (VIII).