Exploring the potential of contextual ethics in mediation

Rachael Field*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


The Australian National Mediator Standards state that ‘the purpose of a mediation process is to maximise participants’ decision making’. To achieve this, the dominant model of mediation practised in Australia – the facilitative model – ethically requires the mediator to be in an ‘outsider-impartial’ role,3 as opposed to an ‘insider-partial’ role. That is, mediation ethics require mediators to be impartial facilitators of the process in order to ensure that the content and outcome of the dispute are self-determined by the parties. In managing the process impartially, a mediator is expected to be fair, even-handed, unbiased and free of prejudice. A mediator who is coercive, who favours one party over another or who makes a decision for the parties is not impartial and thereby is said to violate the possibility of party self-determination.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlternative Perspectives on Lawyers and Legal Ethics
Subtitle of host publicationReimagining the Profession
EditorsFrancesca Bartlett, Reid Mortensen, Kieran Tranter
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)0203846885, 9780203846889
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


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