ATTITUDES OF COURT MEDIATORS TOWARD JUDICIAL MEDIATION PRACTICE

Sandra Molė, Jolanta Sondaitė

Abstract


Judicial mediation is a relatively new, but rapidly growing alternative dispute resolution in Lithuania. Mediator‘s attitude and experiences in judicial mediation may determine the outcome of judicial mediation whether peaceful agreement between the parties will be achieved. The goal of this research is to analyze attitudes of court mediators toward judicial mediation practice. In total, 6 judicial mediators between 33 and 57 years old participated in the study, 3 of them were attorneys, 2 judges, and 1 psychologist. The qualitative research method was chosen to achieve the goal. Information was collected using the semi-structured interview method. The data analysis method was based on inductive thematic analysis.
After the data analysis, 4 main themes were identified: the shortcomings of the organization of judicial mediation, the difficulties of the mediation practice, the motivational factors to engage in mediation and the factors of the success of mediation. The results showed that the main disadvantages of the organization of judicial mediation include mediation sticking in the courtroom, low cooperation of lawyers, lack of suitable premises. The difficulties most often encountered by judicial mediators were the lack of understanding and awareness of the idea of mediation, the reluctance of the parties to cooperate, the emotional burden of mediation, the maintenance of impartiality, deception in mediation and lack of psychological or legal knowledge. Mediators are mostly motivated by the creation of a better world as well as personal development, the emergence of dialogue between parties, and emotional satisfaction. Successful mediation factors are preparedness for mediation, sharing of experiences, not getting involved emotionally.
In order to improve the work of court mediators it is important to ensure sharing experience among mediators organizing supervision/intervision groups. It is recommended to organize specialized psychological training for mediators with a legal background and specialized legal training for mediators with a non- legal backgound. It is important to educate lawyers about court mediation and how they can contribute.

Keywords


court mediation, mediators‘ attitude, qualitative research, thematic analysis

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/SD-19-17-2-05

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789