Exploring the Role of Mandatory Mediation in Civil Justice
In this article, I offer a framing of the debates around mandatory mediation that rest on the premise that a legitimate civil justice process depends on unhindered access to an adjudicative system, which must be recognized as a procedural right. This is a keystone of the rule of law, and a valid legal system that deserves the authority that it asserts is contingent on this. My central thesis is that requiring mediation (which is independent of the rule of law) before allowing full access to adjudication compromises the procedural rights of legal subjects, and the rule of law principle. Such a mandate is, therefore, an improper exercise of legal authority. This does not, however, mean that mediation cannot have significant value in enhancing the civil justice commitment to human dignity. The benefits that abound in mediation should be widely accessible, especially because mediation can (when it functions well) offer autonomous, empowered decision-making. The analyses that I offer here pave the road for determining, pragmatically, how mediation should be incorporated into civil justice systems, such that individuals can have legal claims adjudicated in a system that centralizes the rule of law and may also choose an equitable and well-structured mediation system that is responsive to concerns raised by critical race and feminist scholars about informal dispute resolution.
For Editions following and including Volume 61 No. 1, the following applies.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
For Editions prior to Volume 61 No. 1, the following applies.
Author(s) retain original copyright in the substantive content of the titled work, subject to the following rights that are granted indefinitely:
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to produce, publish, disseminate, and distribute the titled work in electronic format to online database services, including, but not limited to: LexisNexis, QuickLaw, HeinOnline, and EBSCO;
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to post the titled work on the Alberta Law Review website and/or related websites.
- Author(s) agree that the titled work may be used for educational or instructional purposes and/or in educational or instructional materials. The author(s) acknowledge that the titled work is subject to other such "fair dealing" provisions and applicable legislation.
- Author(s) grant a limited license to those accessing the titled work from an electronic database or an Alberta Law Review website to download the titled work onto their computer and to print a copy for their own personal, non-commercial use, subject to proper attribution.
To use the journal's content elsewhere, permission must be obtained from the author(s) and the Alberta Law Review.