By André Niedostadek. Today it’s the first anniversary of the German Mediation Act (“Mediationsgesetz”). Congratulations! Unfortunately the joy is tempered slightly. Although mediation has been discussed for ages, the attempts to establish mediation have not worked yet. Of course there are a lot of mediators and there is a lot of training too but nevertheless mediation doesn’t seem to be widely accepted. Working as a mediator is neither a real profession. And – from a comparative point of view quite interesting – it seems that there is a similar situation in other countries. One may get the impression: Is mediation dead? Has it ever been alive?
Of course one can analyse the reasons for this. But like in mediation it is by far more interesting to look into the future and address the following question: What is necessary to establish mediation? This leads to other questions: Is it perhaps a certain legal framework? Is mandatory mediation at least the road to success? Do we need a specific cultural attitude? Or do we just have to wait (like constant dripping wears away the stone)? It’s like searching a phantom.
To address these questions here in the Comparative Mediation blog means that maybe we can learn something from a comparative perspective. So if you do know any “success stories” from other countries where mediation is already an acknowledged approach (at least in specific areas) and – first and foremost – if you do have an idea about the success factors it would be interesting to share these findings. Any comments?