The Anglo-American term mediation first surfaced in the Netherlands in the early 1990s and has become part of Dutch (legal) language since. This does not mean that mediation as a mode of dispute resolution was hitherto unknown in the Netherlands. Mediation, as a process of third party assisted bargaining, had existed for several centuries, albeit under different Dutch terms, such as bemiddeling, verzoening, conciliatie or (sometimes) comparitie. These methods of dispute resolution were commonly practised as a sideactivity by judges, mayors, or other functionaries, using their intuition, experience of life, or mere authority.
de Roo, Annie J. and Jagtenbergw, Robert W.
"Encouraging mediation in the Netherlands,"
ADR Bulletin: Vol. 6
, Article 2.
Available at: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/adr/vol6/iss3/2