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Abstract

It is becoming more common to speak about mediation as a profession. This raises the question of what form mediation ethics should take in the professional era. This article outlines two ways of thinking about mediation ethics — the regulatory model and the practice model — and considers their suitability to address the challenge of professionalisation. I examine the main features of the two models, then compare them with some core characteristics of mediation as a dispute resolution process. I argue that while it is tempting to associate professionalisation with the regulatory model, the practice model offers some important advantages in the mediation context. I conclude that the mediation profession should aim to strike a balance between the two models, while generally emphasising practice over regulation.

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