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Regulating civil mediation in England and Wales: Towards a ‘win–win’ outcome

Regulating civil mediation in England and Wales: Towards a ‘win–win’ outcome

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Mike Whitehouse, University of Hull

Keywords: law, regulation, interests, values, contention

Abstract: Civil mediation in Britain has rapidly moved away from being an option, for private choice, to becoming increasingly a compulsory or near-compulsory part of the public justice system. But regulation of the mediation industry remains minimal, and undertaken on an essentially private, self-regulatory basis. This raises a perception or actuality of risk that mediation and its regulation may better serve the interests of stakeholders in the mediation industry than the individual citizen who may come to mediation as a one-off player with no available alternative dispute resolution mechanism. This article argues that there are ‘public interest’ values and expectations of a constitutional and democratic nature at stake here which require recognition and protection via an effective and credible regulatory regime. It concludes that such a solution may in reality serve the interests both of the mediation industry and those individuals who may come into contact with it, offering a ‘win–win’ outcome.

Author Biography: 

Mike Whitehouse is a professor of law at the University of Hull, and a CEDR accredited mediator. His previous academic research has focused on regulatory theory, values and institutional structure, and regulation in practice, especially in the context of the state schooling system and of mass media.

Publication Date:  16 June 2017

Whitehouse, M. (2017). Regulating civil mediation in England and Wales: Towards a ‘win–win’ outcome. Mediation Theory and Practice2(1), 69–83.

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