Learning & events

Webinar | The role of party self-determination in mediation ethics

with Rachael Field and Jonathan Crowe

Thursday 19 November 2020 | Online

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (AEDT)

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The role of party self-determination in mediation ethics

Mediation ethics traditionally gives a central role to two core values: mediator neutrality or impartiality and party self-determination. However, the relationship between these concepts can sometimes give rise to ethical dilemmas, particularly in scenarios involving power imbalances or vulnerable parties. How, then, can the two notions be reconciled?

This talk explores the idea that party self-determination, rather than mediator neutrality or impartiality, should be given centre stage in mediation ethics. This is because, first, party self-determination is what distinguishes mediation from other forms of dispute resolution and, second, it provides a principled basis for the legitimacy of mediation and its outcomes. Mediator neutrality or impartiality can then be viewed as a tool to support party self-determination, rather than a core value in its own right.

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About the speakers

Rachael Field

Rachael Field is Professor of Law at Bond University, and Co-Director of the Bond Dispute Resolution Centre and Bond’s Centre for Professional Legal Education. Her areas of teaching and research expertise include dispute resolution, family law and domestic violence, lawyer and law student well-being and legal education (particularly foundations of law and transition in, through and out of law school). Rachael is an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow, the winner of a National Teaching Citation as well as an Australian Teaching Excellence Award, and she is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She founded the Australian Wellness Network for Law in 2010 and co-founded the ADR Research Network (in 2012) as well as the annual STARS conference (2015) (a conference about student success in higher education). Rachael is on the editorial board of The Law Teacher journal, she is one of the general co-editors of the Bond Law Review, a co-editor in chief of the Dispute Resolution Review and one of the editors of the journal Student Success. Rachael has been on the Women’s Legal Service Management Committee in Brisbane since 1993 and has held the role of President since 2004. In 2013 Rachael was named Queensland Woman Lawyer of the Year.

Jonathan Crowe

Jonathan Crowe is Professor of Law at Bond University and a regular Visiting Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin. His research examines the philosophical relationship between law and ethics. He has also produced significant bodies of work on constitutional law, rape and sexual assault law, international humanitarian law and dispute resolution. Jonathan is author or editor of nine books and more than ninety peer-reviewed book chapters and journal articles. His recent books include Mediation Ethics: From Theory to Practice (Edward Elgar, 2020) (with Rachael Field) and Natural Law and the Nature of Law (CUP, 2019). He is a founding Co-Director of Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy, an Australia-wide initiative working to shape community responses to sexual violence. He is also an Honorary Life Member of the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy, having served as its President from 2014 to 2018, and a former President of the Australian Dispute Resolution Research Network.

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