Ethics and the Mediation Community

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceProfessional

Abstract

[Extract]

What does it mean to think communally about mediation ethics? It’s tempting to conceive ethics as a set of abstract rules or principles formulated by experts and then imposed from above. However, another way to think of ethics is as the product of a dynamic, community oriented process. Experienced mediators who seek to adopt an ethical attitude to their practice will notice patterns in their approaches to various disputes. Reflection upon these patterns then supplies the foundation for formulating general guidelines that arise organically from the process. This approach to identifying principles of mediation practice treats these principles are subsidiary to the situational nature of ethical judgments.

The model of mediation ethics sketched above is community oriented, rather than individualistic. This is because it recognises that the source of meaningful ethical guidelines lies in the accretion of experience in different mediation contexts over time. Mediators, then, can learn not just from their own practice, but from the experiences of others who accept the same general ethical outlook. Mediation ethics depends on the sharing of principles and guidelines throughout the mediation community. This makes full use of the store of knowledge reflected in the diverse experiences of mediators.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Dispute Resolution Research Network Blog
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2014

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