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Abstract

Extract:

Neutrality is a key concept in the process of mediation, with ‘definitions of mediation frequently assert[ing] that the mediator is a neutral intervener in the parties’ dispute’. For example, one of the most commonly accepted and often cited definitions provided by Folberg and Taylor refers to mediation as a process involving ‘the assistance of a neutral person or persons’, while Moore’s definition refers to an ‘… impartial and neutral third party’. This firm connection between neutrality and fundamental definitional aspects of mediation theory is also related to neutrality’s ‘important legitimising function for mediation’. People are drawn to the mediation process on the basis of the perceived promise that neutrality holds. The concept of neutrality in mediation is also seen as counterbalancing the ideology of judicial neutrality.

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