The Empty Idea of Mediator Impartiality

Jonathan Crowe, Rachael M Field

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceProfessional


Mediation ethics has traditionally given a central role to the notion of mediator neutrality. The idea that mediators are ethically obliged to be neutral, however, has come under increasing attack in recent decades. Numerous scholars have argued that traditional views of mediator neutrality are unrealistic and unhelpful for mediation practice.[1] This is because they overlook the humanity of the mediator and ignore the reality of power imbalances in the mediation process. It is unrealistic for mediators to be wholly neutral, because they are human beings with their own perspectives and biases. Mediator neutrality is also unhelpful to the parties, because it robs the mediator of the ability to intervene actively in the process where needed and ensure that all parties achieve meaningful self-determination.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Dispute Resolution Research Network Blog
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2019


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