Can courts enhance the use of mediation?

Clark, Bryan (2015) Can courts enhance the use of mediation? Asian Journal on Mediation, 2015. pp. 49-59.

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Evidence from a multitude of jurisdictions suggests that when mediation is used, often the process is successful in terms of settlement rates, party satisfaction and savings in cost and time for participants and the State. Nonetheless, it is also true that when mediation remains a voluntary process, take up is generally low. This paper explores the role that courts can play in promoting mediation in terms of legitimizing the process in the eyes of parties, breaking down cognitive barriers, and eradicating professional and cultural norms that may militate against mediation’s wider use. The paper concludes by sounding a cautionary note about the potential dangers of the unfettered commixing of the formal civil court process with mediation.