Mediation and Social Norms: A Response to Dame Hazel Genn

Charlie Irvine

University of Strathclyde – Law School

April 1, 2009

Family Law, Vol. 39, p. 351, April 2009


This article is a response to one of Dame Hazel Genn’s 2009 Hamlyn Lectures in which she criticised mediators for having ‘no interest in fairness and justice’. It considers the role of social norms in mediation, reviewing Ellen Waldman’s useful taxonomy, before concluding that mediation rhetoric is out of step with much UK practice. It proposes that an ethical approach requires a thorough examination of mediators’ values, which should be clearly articulated for the benefit of clients and the credibility of the profession. This is best achieved by the development of reflective practice.

Mediation and Social Norms- A Response to Dame Hazel Genn

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