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Remaining Impartial in Mediation.

Posted on 06/03/2016 · Posted in Mediation

Impartiality and neutrality play a huge part in the role of a mediator. Under the 2008 EU Mediation Directive ‘‘Mediator’ means any third person who is asked to conduct a mediation in an effective, impartial and competent way, regardless of the denomination or profession of that third person in the Member State concerned and of the way in which the third person has been appointed or requested to conduct the mediation.’ (Article 3, (b)).

Yet while, of course, these legal parameters, guidelines, ethical rules and general standards of conduct that a mediator must adhere to do exist, it is also very much down to the mediator themselves to use their mediation experience and skills and, ultimately, their basic human instincts to remain impartial throughout the mediation process.

I will for ever, at all hazards, assert the dignity, independence, and integrity of the English bar; without which, impartial justice, the most valuable part of the English constitution, can have no existence”
Thomas Erskine

It is human nature to make snap decisions and judgements based on the evidence or facts put in front of us, and we do this every day with the people we meet too, making instant assumptions based on how people look, talk or present themselves, what their body language conveys, how they dress and so on. Despite a mediator’s professional training they too are unavoidably prone to drawing these conclusions – they are human after all – yet a mediator uses their training and experience to put these assumptions or conclusions to one side so that they portray and communicate complete impartiality. It is an essential part of the mediator’s role to facilitate and encourage discourse and ultimately agreement between two disputing parties, so a mediator puts his or her beliefs or personal opinions aside to help steer a productive and fair discussion.

Conveying impartiality throughout the mediation process poses further challenges when a mediator perhaps feels one party or individual is being particularly aggressive in the course of the mediation, or the mediator feels he or she needs to redress the power between the disputing parties if it appears unfairly balanced. A mediator will use his or her training, experience and personality to do all of this. Remaining impartial helps keep channels of communication open and is an essential ingredient in effective dispute resolution practice.

Read more about ethical standards for mediators. Click here.

Expert Evidence is a professional firm concentrating on the four main areas of dispute resolution; acting as expert witnesses in financial litigation, mediation, arbitration and adjudication. The firm has a civil, criminal and international practice and has advised in many recent cases. Areas of specialisation include banking, lending, regulation, investment, and tax.

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Disclaimer – Please confirm any of the above views with your solicitor. Expert Evidence takes no responsibility or provides any guarantee that the views above are correct for your particular case or jurisdiction.