At a time when unrivaled attention is being paid to the concept of conflict resolution and many are expressing concerns about the rising costs, elongated time cycle and other aspects of international litigation and arbitration, there is an intensified focus on mediation and other approaches aimed at actively managing and resolving conflict efficiently, informally and consensually. Mediation throughout its journey has helped in saving and overcoming cultural barriers, improving communications, restoring or maintaining relationships, promoting confidentiality, and producing more satisfactory, durable, and creative resolutions. In not more than four decades, the North American model of “modern” mediation has sown the seed a wide variety of public and private initiatives worldwide, encouraging to take up mediation in the resolution of international commercial and investment disputes, and even inspired a push for a new kind of international convention.
Although various forms of mediation have been in play for thousands of years, few forms in present play an active role in evolving global preoccupation with mediation and other techniques for managing conflicts and it was prefigured by developments in the United States beginning nearly four decades ago. That “Quiet Revolution” came out from multiple wellsprings that include, concerns about the perceived risks and costs of litigation as well as delays that are a result from crowded court dockets, and the desire to empower parties to more effectively achieve a resolution of their own disputes and even sustain, transform or restore human relationships. This growing wave of change happened to produce hundreds of court-connected programs aimed at promoting the mediated settlement of litigated cases; analogs measures sponsored by numerous federal as well as state agencies; neighborhood justice centers or community-based mediation programs in multitude; and a host of body and groups who is aimed at promoting or providing education, training or professional dispute resolution services.
Mediation was the epicenter of the Quiet Revolution and the mainstay of court-connected and other ADR programs. Mediation is featured in contractual stepped procedures at an increasing rate, and in many parts of the USA, it is almost unimaginable that a case would even proceed through litigation without at least one “stop” along the way for mediation.
The Quiet Resolution gradually produced large and growing cadres of self-described dispute resolution professionals who spend most of their time in mediating cases. Thousands of participants have been attracted by the training programs over the last three decades and the demand remains unabated.
Eventually, the growth of professional mediation increased the development of the and was in turn increased by, national associations such as the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, the National Association for Community Mediation, and Academy of Professional Family Mediators.
The “modern” American evolution of mediation outside the boundaries of the United States was first emulated to some degree in other common law countries- the United Kingdom and Commonwealth entities that are Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to be precise. In New Zealand, mediation is well established and well-integrated into a legal system, even though the country doesn’t have any general mediation statute, provisions for mediation may be found in more than 60n statutes.
The Quiet Resolution has reverberated and been felt throughout the world, and that is reflected in the development of international and national standards and the creation of institutions providing mediation services. Even though the “modern” mediation has taken broad root in some places, it has failed to broadly germinate in others. Like in Germany, more than 10,000 cases are reported annually and mediation has led quite a shadowy existence and yet has not become a significant part of the legal framework.
Only recently, there have preparations made by the UNCITRAL Working Group to explore the creation of a Convention on the Enforcement of Mediated Settlements, which provides an international platform for the enforcement and recognition of binding arbitration awards. Would-be leaders in the field of the global dispute resolution, such as Singapore, are planning on more new and improved brands of international mediation. It undoubtedly gives hope that such a platform will boost commercial mediation in both domestic and international level into overdrive.