MEDIATOR CODES OF CONDUCT
The application of a code of conduct to the practice of mediation becomes problematic, due in part to the diverse number and type of practitioners in the field. A tendency exists for professional societies to develop their own codes of conduct, which apply to their own members.
Writers in the field of mediation normally espouse a code of conduct that mirrors the underlying principles of the mediation process. In this respect some of the most common aspects of a mediator codes of conduct include:
- a commitment to inform participants as to the process of mediation.
- the need to adopt a neutral stance towards all parties to the mediation, revealing any potential conflicts of interest.
- the requirement for a mediator to conduct the mediation in an impartial manner
- within the bounds of the legal framework under which the mediation is undertaken any information gained by the mediators should be treated as confidential.
- mediators should be mindful of the psychological and physical wellbeing of all the mediations participants.
- mediators should not offer legal advice, rather they should direct participants to appropriate sources for the provision of any advice they might need.
- mediators should seek to maintain their skills by engaging in ongoing training in the mediation process.
- mediators should practise only in those fields in which they have expertise gained by their own experience or training.
In the United States, professional mediators have created an organization to develop a rational approach to conflict resolution. This approach is based on a scientific definition of a person and a conflict. It helps to develop a structured process of mediation interviews and meetings of the parties. Mediators have adopted a code of ethics which provides the protagonists guarantees professionalism.
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