Mediator standards of conduct: A commentary to the revised National Mediator Accreditation System Practice Standards

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Abstract

This article concerns the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS)Practice Standards which were extensively revised in 2015. According to theChair of the Mediator Standards Board, the standards now "specify clearly theminimum practice and competency requirements" for NMAS accreditedmediators. The study undertaken in this article, in which the revised PracticeStandards are compared with those that they replace, suggests otherwise.Numerous gaps (for example, as to the mediator's duty of confidentiality) anduncertainties (for example, as to the meaning of "impartiality") in the revisedstandards are identified. The author concludes that the revised standardsprovide little guidance to mediators faced with a choice between contradictorycourses of action and conflicting values. The usefulness of the standards as atool to educate mediators (and to instil in them a sense of the values ofmediation), participants and potential participants has been compromised bythe recent revisions. The article offers possible solutions for overcomingshortcomings in the standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-147
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Civil Litigation and Practice
Volume5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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