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enhance the likelihood of compliance;823

6.comprehensive agreements;

7.learning creative problem solving strategies and procedures;

8.greater degree of control and predictability of outcome;

9.personal empowerment.  Cook, Rochl and Shepard824 found that people who negotiated their own settlement felt more powerful than those who used others to negotiate for them;

10.as mediation is a win/win strategy, it is more suitable for preserving an ongoing parenting relationship for the children in a more amicable way;

11. interest based mediation agreements can result in a settlement that is more satisfactory than a compromise decision in which they share losses and gains;

12. mediated settlements tend to hold over time.  The researchers found that if a dispute occurs later  the parties were more likely to utilise a co-operative way of problem solving than to use an adversarial approach;825 and

13.irrespective of the different programs or location in the world, the studies show a high degree of client satisfaction.

7.19Kelly concluded that “the real value of mediation lies in its ability to affect the quality and future direction of the spousal relationship, particularly with regard to the ability to co-operate after divorce and the more realistic perception of each other’s anger.”826

Factors in the effectiveness of mediation

7.20However, mediation is not the panacea for all ills.  Mediators accept that not all disputes are appropriate for mediation, and that litigation will continue to have a role for certain types of cases.  The conditions under which mediation is most effective are:

1.The parties have a history of co-operation and problem solving;

2.they do not have a long history of adversarial relations or prior litigation;

823 Bingham, Resolving Environmental disputes: A decade of experience.  Conservation Foundation (1986).

824 Neighbourhood Justice Centers Field Test: Final Evaluation Report (1980).

825 Pearson and Thoennes (1984) supra.

826 Kelly, “Mediation and Adversarial Divorce: Initial Findings from a Longitudinal Study” in Folberg & Milne, Divorce Mediation : Theory and Practice (1988) 447 at 453.

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