Nadja Spegel


In Australia when we think of mediation training, we generally envisage a four or five day training course run by a mediation service provider or educational institution. Many Australian universities also offer postgraduate studies in mediation and ADR which generally provide a combination of theory and skills development subjects. Such studies typically take the form of postgraduate diplomas or Masters degrees offered by a university department or a multi-disciplinary mediation centre. Notably, there are no requirements that participants have previous qualifications or experience in mediation. One direct effect of this ‘open’ policy has been to lower the standard of postgraduate teaching and learning in this field. For example, postgraduate subjects in mediation in many law schools around the country offer a standard of instruction which is not dissimilar to that being offered at other schools on an undergraduate level. In fact, in some schools undergraduates sit in the same sessions with postgraduates and legal professionals enrolled in a certificate course.