See Peacemakers Trust bibliography on community conflict resolution


Resolving Community Disputes:
An Annotated Bibliography about Community Justice Centres

Catherine Morris, editor.
Victoria: UVic Institute for Dispute Resolution, 1994.

annotated Bibliography

Introduction   |   Annotations   |   Author-Title Index   |   Topical Index

Introduction

by Brad Moore, Catherine Morris, and Andrew Pirie

Introduction   |   The Evolution of Community Justice Centres   |   Assessing Community Justice Centres   |   Critiques   |
 The Future of Community Justice Centres in Canada   |   Conclusion

What are community justice centres? How do they operate? Can they provide new ways of resolving community disputes? Resolving Community Disputes: An Annotated Bibliography about Community Justice Centres is intended to help answer these and other questions.

This introduction provides an overview of the evolution of community justice centres, a critical review of the important issues arising out of the community justice centre phenomenon, and a comment on the future of community justice centres in Canadian society.

In addition to providing a reference for researchers, academics and students, this work is intended to assist local, provincial or federal politicians, government officials, business people, consumers, community activists and community members. It is a road map for those who wish to consider how community justice centres might be relevant to their work, organizations, professions or communities. The publication contains annotations on writings about community justice centres from Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. Articles concerning countries with radically different socio-political structures are also included where discussion of their mediation programs was considered to be relevant to the understanding and development of Canadian models.

The Evolution of Community Justice Centres

The problem of conflict in communities is as old as human history. Throughout the ages, community disputes have been resolved in a variety of ways. For North Americans in the latter half of the twentieth century, the idealized image has been that of a just and efficient formal court system, with judges arriving at truth and justice through the best arguments of lawyers. The actual history of everyday human conflict in North America and elsewhere shows that mediation, arbitration and other informal dispute settlement methods have been preferred over formal state-operated methods of conflict resolution.

The revival of informal methods of dispute resolution

For most of the twentieth century, Canadian experience with mediation and arbitration has been associated primarily with labour disputes and international issues. Since the early 1970s, both mediation and arbitration have emerged in North America as tools for dispute resolution in many settings — including family, environmental, commercial and community contexts.

The reasons for the development of informal dispute resolution alternatives are manifold. Some cite the decline of social, cultural and religious institutions which traditionally mediated community conflict. Others point to inadequacies in the formal justice systems in Canada and the United States. The increasing complexity of North American society and the unparalleled urbanization of the population have resulted in spiralling costs and excessive delays for the users of courts and administrative agencies, especially in the United States.

In 1973, Richard Danzig wrote a seminal article which underlined concerns that "America's criminal justice systems neither control, nor consider, nor correct criminality" (Danzig 1973). To address this problem, Danzig suggested a blueprint for the development of decentralized community dispute resolution centres. In 1984, Chief Justice Warren Burger of the United States acknowledged: "Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for a truly civilized people." In a slightly different vein, New Zealand author Jan Cameron observes that "it was the pervading legalisation of American culture that both provoked and facilitated the institutionalisation of alternative dispute resolution procedures which began there in the 1970s and have since spread and proliferated into Canada, Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand" (Cameron 1988).

Jerold S. Auerbach sees the revival of informal dispute resolution mechanisms as a manifestation of the "communitarian euphoria" of the 1960s. He also cites the "persistent counter-tradition to legalism" that marks the "entire sweep of American history." He states that in various communities "the rule of law was explicitly rejected in favour of alternative means for ordering human relations and for resolving the inevitable disputes that arose between individuals. The success of non-legal dispute settlement has always depended upon a coherent community vision. How to resolve conflict, inversely stated, is how (or whether) to preserve community" (Auerbach 1983).

Indeed, popular forces have been instrumental in the drive toward more informal justice processes. Reformers insisted that justice be given back to the community and argued that control of conflicts should be restored to the essential participants. Many of the early experiments with alternative dispute resolution, such as Victim Offender Reconciliation Programs (VORP), were pioneered by community activists in the early 1970s. These and other experiments with criminal justice during the 1970s were instrumental in demonstrating the effectiveness of mediation as a workable alternative to court-based approaches to conflict Peachey 1989).

The rise of community justice centres is a complex sociological phenomenon which cannot be accounted for with certainty. But one thing is certain; the growth of community justice centres in North America bears witness to the fact that alternative dispute settlement "was an idea whose time had come" Auerbach 1983).

Development of community dispute resolution programs in Canada

During the early 1980s, a number of Canadian communities witnessed the development of dispute resolution programs which aspired to provide alternative methods for resolving community conflict. The early experiments in Canada included a VORP project in Kitchener, Ontario in 1973-1974 (Peachey 1989; Benoit 1986), and the Windsor-Essex Mediation Centre in Windsor, Ontario which mediated small civil and family matters in 1982-1983 (Canadian Bar Foundation 1984). In the following few years community justice centres sprang up in centres across Canada. Many have come and gone. Currently, at least thirty-three are operating in Canada, and several more are in the starting phases.(1)

Origins, goals and models

Community justice centres offer dispute resolution services for the settlement of a wide variety of disputes, from neighbourhood, consumer and small business disputes to broader community conflicts involving such issues as development and race-relations. Criminal cases, once exclusively under the jurisdiction of the courts, are often managed effectively through Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs and other similar programs. Most community justice centres across North America today are founded on the principle of collaborative conflict resolution. The most usual process used is mediation or conciliation, although arbitration is also offered by some.

Community justice centres span a gamut of origins, goals and organization styles. Some deal exclusively with small civil matters, some with civil and family matters, and some with criminal matters. Community justice centres have noticed that the line between civil and criminal disputes is often blurred, because criminal acts, such as assaults, often turn out to be the culmination of longstanding community disputes. Some community justice centres were formed with deep philosophical motives toward goals of personal reconciliation, peaceful communities and restorative justice. The term "restorative justice" is seen not as retribution or punishment, but rather as accountability, reparation and reconciliation among persons and communities. Other community justice centres are based on the desire for participatory democracy and more citizen involvement in decisions that affect them. Still others were formed with the goal of clearing crowded court calendars. Many combine these goals. Therefore, the concept of a community justice centre challenges definition.

While there are various models for neighbourhood justice centres, two types dominate. One type exists in association with governmental organizations, often a small claims court. Other community justice centres aspire to be genuinely independent neighbourhood institutions. The latter, often based on variations of the San Francisco Community Board model, are developed as grass roots organizations (Shonholtz 1987).

This community-based model offers a justice process which is independent of the formal legal system. Both types of community justice centres seek referrals from various sources including small claims courts, government and community agencies, police, legal aid offices and law firms.

Assessing Community Justice Centres

Collaborative processes, stronger communities

Community justice centres, including victim-offender reconciliation programs, are recent creations, but they are heralded as back-to-the-basics solutions. Many community dispute resolution programs are based on the philosophy of giving justice back to the community and to the disputants. The interests of all parties are considered promptly and fairly through collaborative consensus-based processes, usually mediation.

A key goal of most community justice centres is to meet the needs of people directly affected by conflict. Critics of the justice system have complained that current legal processes tend to exclude participation by the parties to the dispute. The major players in disputes become lawyers, court officials and judges. The affected parties are relegated to the background. This critique has been voiced most poignantly by victims of crime and their advocates. Community justice centres which are involved in criminal justice activities aim to serve the needs of victims of crime and to develop alternative strategies to face criminality. The VORP concept, developed in Kitchener, Ontario in 1973 (Peachey 1989; Benoit 1986) and replicated throughout Canada and the United States, represents "one of the few recent justice reforms that allow victims to be personally involved in the sanctioning process of the offender" (Umbreit 1986).

User satisfaction, higher compliance rates

Studies consistently reveal that, compared with adjudication, mediation programs yield considerably higher rates of user satisfaction and higher levels of compliance with outcomes in both civil and criminal cases (Benoit 1986; Canadian Bar Foundation 1984; Chart 1983; Clarke, Valente and Mace 1993; Cook, Roehl and Sheppard 1980; Crary 1992; DeStephen and Van 1988; Dolan 1989; McEwen and Maiman 1981; Pearson 1982; Perry, Lajeunesse and Woods 1987; Roberts 1992; Slayton 1980; Umbreit 1991). User satisfaction appears to be linked to the fullness and fairness of the hearing process, rather than to outcomes (Hermann et al. 1993; Yngvesson and Hennessey 1975; Vidmar 1985).

Efficiency

Some research indicates that community dispute resolution projects can save court time (Canadian Bar Foundation 1984), and that the cost of processing cases through community justice centres compares favourably with that of courts (Cook et al. 1980; Dolan 1989; Slayton 1980). Proponents suggest that community dispute resolution programs may also increase access to justice, improve court efficiency, and produce less legalistic and more satisfying solutions to problems (Dolan 1989).

Greater community cohesion, positive social change

Proponents also predict that the impact of community justice centres will be evident in society as a whole: "Implicit in the mediation literature is the anticipation that mediation effects will spread like a virus of peace throughout the community as a whole" (Crary 1992). Crary's study revealed that local mediation programs generated "greater community cohesion and commitment to joint service projects," thus promoting the interests of society at large. Positive social change can be brought about by addressing the broader community concerns which are presented in individual disputes (Wahrhaftig 1981; Mika 1992).

Critiques

Enthusiasm for community justice centres is not uniform. Some critics suggest there is insufficient evidence to support the claims made on behalf of community justice centres. Robert S. Moog writes: "Despite the seductive logic and simplicity of this movement toward informalism, mediation ... has not met with unqualified success, particularly when the forum involved is state sponsored" (Moog 1991).

Problems of coercion, power imbalance and fairness of outcomes

Participation in most community justice centres is intended to be voluntary. Critics contend that disputants may experience coercive pressures in their selection of the mediation procedure and in the process of arriving at the settlement itself (Baskin 1988; Harrington 1985; Moog 1991).

Critics also challenge the ability of mediation to address power imbalances between disputants in an equitable and just manner. This critique has been most harsh as it relates to family mediation, in which it is suggested women may not achieve satisfactory outcomes. Some research indicates this fear may be unfounded as it applies to small claims disputes. One American study indicated that white women achieve outcomes from mediation as good or better than others (Hermann et al. 1993).

Unsettling, however, is the same study's finding that unless the mediators are themselves members of cultural minorities, minority disputants achieve poorer outcomes than white men and women.

    

Culturally biased

Michelle LeBaron Duryea, whose research has included analysis of cultural aspects of community mediation, suggests that the prescriptive, staged model of mediation used most often at the community level in North America may not suit individuals from outside the dominant culture. To counter culture bias, a more flexible individualized client-centred process design may be more desirable, as may an emphasis on culturally diverse panels of intervenors. Culturally diverse panels of mediators may also promote more equality of outcomes across culturally diverse populations (Hermann et al. 1993). Duryea also emphasizes the central importance of cultural awareness for dispute resolution practitioners (Duryea 1992; Duryea and Grundison 1993). Currently, few training programs for Canadian mediators emphasize cultural awareness.

Distracting attention from systemic injustices

There is also a fear that a focus on individual problem-solving in the community justice centres may undermine efforts to generate collective solutions to community problems. Pacifying the most vocal individuals may distract attention from systemic injustices, and in this way legitimate social change may be averted (Wahrhaftig 1981; Baskin 1988). Mika suggests that community justice programs can respond to this critique by such means as targeting structural sources of conflict within communities, by being predisposed to intervening in group conflicts, and by working closely with other organizations "to broker resources on behalf of clients ... in a mutual effort to address root sources of community conflict ... " (Mika 1992). Some authors suggest that community-based programs are more likely to promote community harmony and genuine social change, than court-annexed or agency-based programs (Mika 1992; Wahrhaftig 1981).

Widening the net of social control

Another concern is that community justice centres may widen the net of social control inappropriately. "[J]ust as juvenile court, probation, parole and indeterminate sentencing reforms widened the scope of state supervision over citizens in the early twentieth century, so, too, have the contemporary neighborhood justice centers" (Merry 1987). Thus, informal justice may not be a genuine alternative to state justice, but may instead create potential for indirect expansion of social control into areas previously not regulated by the state (Harrington 1985; Hofrichter 1987). The objective of increasing community empowerment through the proliferation of community justice centres must be balanced against the possibility of reduced individual freedom as more types of behaviour come under the purview and control of agencies.

Low quantitative impact on court loads

There is some evidence that community justice centres may not achieve performance goals of saving money within the justice system, and may not reduce caseloads in the courts (Best 1990; Cameron 1988; Clarke et al. 1993; Pearson 1982; Roberts 1992). In Canada, many community justice centres, especially those not connected to a larger agency such as the court or a municipality, have had precarious funding which has led to understaffing, insufficient public education and short life-spans. Also, a number of community justice centres in Canada are not connected to a steady of source of institutional referrals, as are court-annexed or municipal projects. Thus, lack of secure funding and referral sources may in part account for the lack of quantitative impact on court loads. Mediation programs may be able to increase utilization rates with improved public education strategies (Rockhill 1993; Umbreit 1993).

The Future of Community Justice Centres in Canada

Currently, there are more than 400 community justice centres in the United States. By contrast, in Canada their numbers are small but growing. In 1991 there were only ten community justice centres in Canada, a country of over thirty million people living in ten provinces and two territories. In 1994 there are at least thirty-three, of which seventeen are in Ontario. In spite of this apparent growth, most Canadian community justice centres still struggle to survive. Funding difficulties and low case loads continue to be chronic battles for many community justice centres in spite of high levels of client satisfaction. In order to achieve greater success in Canada, three issues need to be addressed.

The problem of funding

Underfunding of many Canadian community justice centres has meant understaffing, frequent staff turnovers and low budgets for public education and marketing.(2)

The Canadian Bar Association Task Force Report on Alternative Dispute Resolution observed:

The lack of neighbourhood justice centres in Canada is due, in large part, to funding difficulties. These centres are non-profit organizations that rely heavily on trained community volunteers. However, they do require a moderate degree of funding. Secure funding sources for these centres has been difficult to obtain or maintain. (3)

In Canada, federal and provincial governments generally have not been prepared to make long term commitments to fund community mediation centres. Private funding is equally difficult to obtain and is usually short-term in nature. User fees as an exclusive means of funding are not a realistic alternative at present low caseload levels.

Organizational structure: institutional or community-based

Court-based or agency-based programs tend to attract more referrals than independent community-based programs, and may be more successful organizational structures (Benoit 1986; Cook et al.). The paradox is that from an ideological perspective community-based programs, which tend to take longer to become cost-effective, may be better vehicles for addressing broader community problems and challenging systemic causes of community conflict (Wahrhaftig 1981; Mika 1992).

The need for research and public education

While evidence confirms user satisfaction with mediation, little is known about what motivates people to use mediation instead of court. Some evidence suggests that a person's understanding of the mediation process and their previous court experience may be critical to the decision. More research is needed (Turner and Jobson 1990). More research is also needed to answer persistent questions concerning both the claims of proponents and the fears of critics (Bianchi 1988).

Community mediation centres offer services which are significantly different from the traditional adversary methods often employed by disputants. Therefore, increased use of community mediation centres instead of courts will involve a shift in public attitudes and values. This shift will include changes in the attitudes of powerful groups in society, including the legal profession. While the Canadian Bar Association has given some modest support to Canadian community mediation centres, the legal profession has not been wholly supportive to alternatives. For example, in 1989, Mr. Justice Allan McEachern, then the Chief Justice of British Columbia, reflected the opinions of many lawyers when he described mediation as "trendy, compromising, naive and soft." (4)

Improved public education strategies are needed to bring about increased utilization of community justice centres (Cook et al. 1980; Clarke et al. 1993; Rockhill 1993; Turner and Jobson 1990; Umbreit 1993). Newspapers, newsletters, television, radio and, surprisingly, books have been suggested as the most helpful public education media. The most common forms of advertising often used by community mediation centres — brochures, video, word of mouth or talks by professionals — may not be as effective.(5) An Ontario service found that the most effective strategy is to develop relationships and regular contacts with individuals in organizations whose mandate includes conflict resolution (Rockhill 1993). Lack of funding complicates the task of effective public education.

Conclusion

Everyday conflicts will continue to have a major impact on people's perceptions of the quality of their lives (McGillis 1981). Notwithstanding their slow growth, community justice centres are making an important contribution to the resolution of disputes in Canadian society. Community justice centres present a challenge to the traditional perception of the centrality of adjudication to the maintenance of social order and the building of vigorous communities in modern society. The success of this challenge hinges upon increased public utilization of these services. Finally, more research is needed to produce better measures of the potential and limitations of community justice centres in Canada.



Brad Moore, Catherine Morris and Andrew Pirie

Notes

1. There is no accurate inventory of community justice centres currently operating in Canada; therefore, this number is approximate.

2. Donna Dussault, The Funding Squeeze, Interaction (Winter 1992-93) (Waterloo, Ontario: The Network: Interaction for Conflict Resolution); Dean Peachey, Superior Service: The Missing Variable, ibid.

3. The Canadian Bar Association, Task Force Report, Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Canadian Perspective (Ottawa: Canadian Bar Association, 1989), 43.

4. "Chief Justice Puts Boots to ADR," Lawyers Weekly, 26 Oct. 1989, p.2

5. Shelly Eisler and Christine Kelly, Dispute Resolution in the Community: Needs for the Future (Victoria, B.C.: UVic Institute for Dispute Resolution, 1990).

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Annotations

Adams, Peter, Colleen Getz, Jan Valley, and Suzanna Jani. 1992. Evaluation of the Small Claims Program, Vol. 1. Victoria, British Columbia: Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Attorney General.

The authors evaluate reforms to British Columbia's Small Claims Program implemented in 1991. Reforms included an increase in the monetary limit of the Small Claims Court from $3,000 to $10,000, introduction of a mandatory settlement conference in which judges acted as mediators, and the development of plain language. While the scope of the evaluation was broader, this annotation addresses the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) component of the reforms. The number of trials has decreased by two-thirds under the settlement conference program. Time spent by judges on trials "has decreased by an amount at least equal to the time spent on settlement conferences." The number of cases resolved by consent has increased considerably. Fifty percent of cases which reach a settlement conference are resolved. Settlement conferences last about thirty minutes, which judges indicated was not enough time to settle some cases. While service providers suggest greater compliance in cases which settle at a settlement conference, overall compliance rates in the court have decreased only slightly. Settlement conferences have also improved efficiency of trial time, because estimates of expected trial length are more accurate, and fewer trial lists collapse.

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Alper, Benedict S., and Lawrence T. Nichols. 1981. Beyond the Courtroom: Programs in Community Justice and Conflict Resolution. Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books.

The authors state that when citizens feel they are not being protected by the state, "it is to be expected that they will revert to a private mode of righting wrongs." The article describes what the authors consider to be the four best examples of a variety of community conflict resolution programs. First, the Night Prosecutor's Program, Columbus, Ohio: begun in 1971, this program focuses on criminal conduct and operates out of police headquarters. Second, the Dade County Citizen-Dispute-Settlement Program: begun in 1975, Florida's dispute-settlement program operates centres in Miami, Orlando and Tampa Bay with a model closely resembling the Columbus program. Third, the Community Dispute Center, Harlem: its operations originate primarily through efforts of police officers who, where appropriate, issue referral slips to complainants telling them to report to the center. Fourth, the Dorchester Urban Court: begun in 1975, the court offers a trilogy of services as an alternative to the criminal justice system.

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Appleby, George. 1987. The Lord Chancellor's Small Claims Review. Civil Justice Quarterly 6:18-24.

The author reviews the 1986 report from the Lord Chancellor's Department, Small Claims in the County Court, which presents findings from a study sample of 876 cases set down for arbitration. The cases were taken from the records of twenty selected county courts. The study showed that the attempt to create a lawyer-free environment for the average litigant by establishing a "no-cost rule" for arbitration hearings had failed. Data revealed that twenty-three percent of plaintiffs and thirteen percent of defendants came to hearings with legal representation. In forty-eight percent of the cases, one or both parties had resorted to legal assistance at some stage of the process. The study also found that outcomes varied little with representation: success rates were sixty-seven percent of all plaintiffs and seventy percent for plaintiffs with legal assistance. Appleby is critical of the significant amount of judicial time spent by registrars hearing arbitrations, and he suggests that the courts should use volunteers or civil magistrates for arbitration hearings, noting these people may also be more enthusiastic about the process.

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Auerbach, Jerold S. 1983. Justice Without Law? New York: Oxford University Press.

American patterns of dispute settlement are traced from colonial times onward. Auerbach finds that while "litigiousness more appropriately expresses the dominant values of our individualistic culture," a "communitarian vision still endures, if in barely discernible form." It is this vision of community which Auerbach states has led to experiments with alternatives to litigation including arbitration and conciliation. He discusses the movement toward informal dispute resolution and neighbourhood justice centres in the United States which he argues have been fuelled by a combination of desires for community empowerment and judicial efficiency. He comments on the tendency toward absorption of informal justice initiatives by lawyers and the legal system, suggesting that in the twentieth century, "the communitarian search for justice without law has deteriorated beyond recognition into a stunted off-shoot of the legal system."

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Baskin, Deborah R. 1988. Community Mediation and the Public/Private Problem. Social Justice 15:98-115.

In order to consider the question of how the treatment of community problems has progressed from formal institutional control to include more informal citizen participation and community control, the author considers the specific case of community mediation within the context of broader measures of social restructuring. Baskin argues that community mediation programs contribute to expansion of the authority of the state to regulate social behaviour: the informal nature of these programs permits this expansion by reducing or disguising the coercion that would otherwise stimulate resistance. Community mediation is not a substitute for the formal judicial apparatus, but an addition to it. Baskin adds that the neutralization of conflict, as practised in community mediation, tends to reduce social problems to interpersonal or individual ones - a form of victim-blaming which "serves to depoliticize conflict and thereby (temporarily) maintain social stability by diverting attention from the need for collective rather than individual action." The author concludes that community mediation is too complex a phenomenon to be seen simply as a mechanism of social control.

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Baskin, Deborah R., and Ira Sommers. 1990. Ideology and Discourse: Some Differences Between State-Planned and Community-Based Justice. Law and Human Behaviour 14:249-68.

There are two distinct models of mediation: state-planned and community-based. State-planned mediation focuses on reducing judicial inefficiency by increasing access to dispute resolution processes and introducing a degree of procedural informality. It is often described in the terminology of legal discourse: facts are evaluated by means of evidence and presented in terms of legal norms. Moreover, it is presumed that the underlying cause of a dispute resides in the relationship of the parties. The community-based model, on the other hand, focuses on empowerment and social change. The discourse of community-based mediation emphasizes autonomy from state control and dependency; a broad concept of causality, extending beyond the legal dispute and the alleged actors; an exploration of a wide repertoire of remedies; and the restoration of community control over dispute processing.

In this ethnographic study of mediation in the Delaware Valley, the two programs studied closely approximated the models described above. The Wilmington Dispute Settlement Program (WDS) provided an example of the state-planned model and the Friends Suburban Project (FSP) illustrates the community-based model. These programs were found to differ in three key areas: use of coercion and consensus (both implied and explicit) in establishing jurisdiction and maintaining disputant satisfaction; the assumption of authoritarian and supportive postures by mediators and their effects on dispute processing; and finally, the forms and contents of verbal and written discourse employed by both mediators and disputants. The authors conclude that in both projects disputes were set into preconceived categories; each program emphasized a pre-established process and outcome rather than defining procedures according to the intricacies of individual disputes.

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Benoit, John H., et al. 1986. Evaluating the Effects and Methods of Delivery of Mediation: Summary Report. Ottawa, Ontario: Solicitor General Canada.

This report addresses three questions. First, does mediation help disputants? Second, which is the better way to organize a mediation service: community-based (developed and run by community citizens) or systems-based (developed and run by a major organization concerned with the resolution of disputes)? Third, what is the best way to organize mediation centres which use police for referrals?

Data were provided by the Community Mediation Network (CMN) of Halifax-Dartmouth, the Community Mediation Service of Kitchener-Waterloo and the North American Dispute Resolution Service Survey. It was found that mediation as a process works well for disputants. As an organizational form, community-based mediation was observed to be a failure, although systems-based mediation is effective. The authors conclude that community-based services have only a slight qualitative edge and that development of mediation services should be encouraged within the justice system. Moreover the data indicate that increased time spent on training improved the quality of mediation, increased the probability of a durable agreement being reached, and increased referrals, particularly in community-based centres.

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Best, Arthur. 1990. Consumer Problems and ADR: An Analysis of the Federal Trade Commission-Ordered General Motors Mediation and Arbitration Program. Journal of Dispute Resolution 1990:267-92.

In this evaluation of a controversial mediation and arbitration program established by General Motors (GM) for owners of certain cars, the author uses reports of 81,055 cases processed in 144 cities over thirty-four months to compare the program's performance to scholarly expectations of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and to evaluate the program in the broader context of the adaptability of ADR to consumer problems. In terms of fairness, the author found that the ADR process produced unexplained differences in similar cases when dispositions were compared between groups of cities. In terms of economy, Best argues that a full calculation of the resources devoted to the program calls into question any claim that it produced overall economic savings. In terms of speed, the author notes that the program provided only a slight benefit in this area to those who used it in the first few years. In terms of satisfaction, the author found that the quantitative data provided by the Federal Trade Commission gave little evidence of how well users liked the program. Best concludes that the expectations typically expressed by advocates of ADR were not fulfilled by the program, but that this is due in part to the structure of the program. It did not allow for face-to-face contact between car owners and GM representatives, did not encourage the development of a collaborative relationship, and it was managed by third parties who possessed no expertise in mediation, arbitration or car problems.

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Bianchi, Carl F. 1988. Alternative Dispute Resolution: Is the Jury Still Out? The Journal of State Government 61:174-6.

Bianchi reports on a survey by the National Centre for State Courts, which identified more than 700 alternative dispute resolution programs in the United States. Survey results also indicated that the steady growth in alternatives over the last decade appears to be levelling off. The author cautions that a number of key issues must be addressed through continuing research before we turn too far away from the traditional legal process.

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British Columbia. Ministry of the Attorney General. 1984. B.C. Small Claims Resolution Project. Victoria, British Columbia: Ministry of the Attorney General.

This project was deployed between December 1981 and May 1982 in the districts of Matsqui and Maple Ridge in British Columbia. Ministry staff offered two dispute resolution alternatives: conciliation, to be initiated by plaintiffs prior to any court action and conducted over the phone; and mediation, to be initiated by defendants in small claims court actions and conducted in person. Among other things research revealed that unlike American studies, uncertainty of trial and delays in getting to trial did not induce plaintiffs to consider ADR; that conciliants and mediants were clearly different from litigants in terms of their attitudes towards litigation and their outcome expectations; and that small claims court appeared to be acceptable to most of its users, although clear concerns existed with respect to locating defendants and collecting money from judgment debtors.

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Cameron, Jan. 1988. Community Mediation in New Zealand: A Pilot Project. Journal of Social Welfare Law 284-99.

This article discusses the background to the establishment of the Christchurch Community Mediation Service in New Zealand, generates an overview of the process employed and summarizes the outcome of disputes presented to the service during its pilot stage. Cameron observes that the Christchurch Community Mediation Service is a service-oriented program as opposed to a system-oriented (i.e. court-based) or community-oriented program. The pilot project provided a mixture of success and failure. The major failure was the service's low caseload which may have been due in part to a lack of feedback to referring agencies. While success rates in mediation were good, the overall societal impact of the service was minimal. The author argues, however, that by remaining outside the formal justice system, the service might continue to fill an individual need for many citizens.

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Canadian Bar Foundation. 1984. Windsor-Essex Mediation Centre: History and Pilot Project Evaluation 1984. Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Bar Foundation.

The goals of this project were to determine the effectiveness of mediation and conciliation as mechanisms to expedite the resolution of disputes; to improve the accessibility of formal conflict resolution mechanisms; and to reduce court case loads. Designed to provide mediation services on a voluntary basis in matters of minor civil disputes, the project developed program areas: mediation; family and divorce mediation; small claims court (Office of the Referee); and mediation training and consultation. Of clients surveyed, over ninety percent indicated they would use the service again; ninety-eight percent perceived volunteer mediators as skilled; ninety-four percent perceived volunteer mediators as helpful; over ninety percent indicated satisfaction with the mediation services (even if they had not attended a hearing); eighty-seven percent indicated they had lived up to the agreement reached; and seventy-seven percent said that the other party involved had complied. The report recommends further research to determine if agreements endure longer than the six- to twelve-month period studied. The authors argue that the Windsor-Essex Mediation Centre demonstrated a capacity to settle civil disputes out of court. Five days were found to have been saved in one year of the small claims court calendar, and eighty percent of the mediation clients served by the centre indicated that they would otherwise have taken their dispute to court. The authors suggest that an overall twenty-six percent decline in actions filed at the small claims court between 1982 and 1983 may be attributable to the influence of the centre's mediation service.

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Chart, Jane. 1983. Community Justice Centres for New Zealand. New Zealand Law Journal 39-42.

Data collected by the New South Wales Community Justice Centres Project are discussed. The Project commenced in January, 1981 with three centres, each drawing on a pool of fifty to sixty mediators. It was designed to test the effectiveness of mediation as a resolution technique for minor civil and criminal cases involving interpersonal relationships. In eighty-seven percent of the cases coming to the centres, one or both parties had initially sought help elsewhere without success. Where a mediation session was scheduled, agreements were reached in eighty-seven percent of cases; ninety percent of these were mediated in one session which lasted an average of two hours and forty minutes. A follow-up survey conducted four to six months after mediation indicated that fifty-four percent of agreements were holding "very well" and twenty-four percent were holding at least "in part." Interestingly, clients indicated high levels of satisfaction even where agreements were not reached. Eighty-one percent of parties involved in mediated cases and seventy-six percent of parties involved in cases resolved without mediation indicated that they were very satisfied with the way the centre had dealt with their cases. Sixty-eight percent of clients whose cases were not settled reported they were "very satisfied." Chart concludes that a failure to respond to these minor disputes could lead to costly demands on the health, welfare and justice systems.

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Christian, Thomas. 1986. Community Dispute Resolution: First-Class Process or Second-Class Justice? New York University Review of Law and Social Change 14:771-83.

The author examines the Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program (CDRCP) in New York, created in 1981, from the perspective of quality of justice. At the time of writing, there were centres in fifty-three counties of New York. First, he points to 1984 research which shows high levels of client satisfaction with the work of the thirty-three centres. Second, he asks: "Do people who go through the Program receive second-class justice?" Justice is defined in terms of timeliness, universal accessibility and fairness, and Christian concludes that mediation programs achieve justice based on these criteria. While mediation does not focus on formal rights, "(i)f a specific legal issue or a question of due process is at stake, then the disputants may opt for the courts." Mediation centres provide access to justice since the centres "serve women and men of all ages, and of all racial and ethnic backgrounds ... from varied income and educational levels," at locations convenient to the parties. Christian concludes that mediation "is a first-class process that provides first-class justice."

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Clarke, Stevens H., Ernest Valente, Jr., and Robyn R. Mace. 1993. Mediation of Interpersonal Disputes: An Evaluation of North Carolina's Programs. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Publications Office, Institute of Government.

The Mediation Network of North Carolina, established in 1985, provides technical planning, fund raising, and training assistance to existing programs and to persons interested in starting new ones. In 1992, the Mediation Network completed its evaluation of North Carolina's community dispute resolution programs. The study focused on related-party misdemeanour cases. North Carolina's programs use only mediation for the settlement of these types of disputes. This extensive study generated much useful information. Participants expressed a high degree of satisfaction with mediated agreements and high rates of compliance were observed. Mediation programs may be able to increase their utilization rates substantially by improving their intake strategies. Without improved intake, programs will continue to please disputants but may not serve enough people to reduce numbers of trials substantially.

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Cohen, James R. 1991. Community-Based Dispute Resolution. Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy 12:13-34.

Cohen introduces his topic with a summary and general discussion of community justice centres across the United States. Next he reviews the theoretical underpinnings of the community dispute resolution movement. The author discusses issues such as confidentiality, enforceability of agreements, and mediator training. Community programs in Minnesota are specifically reviewed with reference to the Minnesota Civil Mediation Act. Finally, Cohen considers some limitations to community mediation programs. He concludes that the initial promise of a truly alternative dispute resolution movement now seems almost naive, but that the diversity of dispute models bodes well for the continued vitality of the community dispute resolution movement.

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Cook, Royer F., Janice A. Roehl, and David I. Sheppard. 1980. Neighbourhood Justice Centres Field Test: Final Evaluation Report. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

This two-year study describes and assesses the processes and impact of three community justice centres located respectively in Atlanta, Kansas City, and Los Angeles. In a summary of the impact of these services on disputants, the authors found that, in addition to providing dispute resolution services, the community justice centres also performed the valuable functions of referring citizens to other justice-related agencies and of helping to improve the image of the justice system in the community. A high proportion of mediated agreements were still holding six months after resolution, and a high proportion of disputants were satisfied with the overall process and would return to use the service again. The authors reach several conclusions. Community justice centres provide a necessary and effective alternative mechanism for the resolution of minor disputes, although they need to improve public awareness of available services. They appear to handle most minor interpersonal disputes more effectively than courts, and, for at least some cases, at a cost competitive with the courts. Community justice centres with a connection to the local justice system attract and resolve more disputes than centres without referral sources. Clients tend to reflect the ethnic characteristics of the centre's surrounding community, but represent a disproportionate number of low income people. Centres are capable of handling a wide variety of minor interpersonal disputes including interpersonal/criminal as well as civil/consumer disputes.

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Crary, Daniel R. 1992. Community Benefits From Mediation: A Test of the `Peace Virus' Hypothesis. Mediation Quarterly 9:241-52.

This article offers an assessment of the Peer Mediation Program (PMP), which was initiated to accommodate the perceived need for an effective approach to conflict resolution in the large, culturally diverse schools of southern California. Data collected argue strongly that student awareness and acceptance of PMP grew significantly during the year. Students reported that mediation worked and most disputants complied with agreements over the long term. In addition, faculty members perceive that conflict incidence was down during the course of the PMP. The program also became a test of whether a community at large will enjoy measurable benefits when members of that community are trained in and practice mediation as disputants' peers. Data from disputant referral patterns and faculty assessments suggest that mediation effects did in fact spread throughout the test community.

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Curcio, William. 1992. Mediation and Homelessness: Passaic County, New Jersey, Steps in to Prevent Evictions. Public Welfare 50:34-9.

The author discusses homelessness as an effect of tenancy conflicts and suggests that tenancy mediation may be the most effective response. The mandate of the Tenancy Settlement/Mediation Program (TSMP) in Passaic County, New Jersey, is to identify and intervene in situations of potential homelessness so that action comes before, rather than in reaction to, loss of shelter. Curcio indicates that the following are among the principal goals of the mediation process: restoration of the landlord-tenant relationship; reduction of human suffering by preventing the trauma of being evicted; and conservation of federal, state and county resources by avoiding situations of homelessness. Program statistics reveal that the TSMP has been extremely productive with respect to its stated objectives.

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Danzig, Richard. 1973. Toward the Creation of a Complementary, Decentralized System of Criminal Justice. Stanford Law Review 26:1-54.

Danzig proposes extensive decentralization in all areas of the criminal justice system in the United States. He suggests that community institutions should be designed to comprehend, reintegrate and help people with problems. The criminal adjudicative model is insufficient for certain matters. As a substitute, Danzig offers the "community moot." The moot is a form of dispute resolution in which the disputants are encouraged to widen the discussion and to resolve disputes by consensus about future conduct, rather than assessing blame retrospectively. The author believes this model is better suited to handle juvenile delinquency, small torts, misdemeanours and other problems arising among community members.

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Dejong, William, Gail A. Goolkasian, and Daniel McGillis. 1983. The Use of Mediation and Arbitration in Small Claims Disputes. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.

This report is designed as a guide for those wishing to develop or modify a small claims mediation or arbitration program. The first chapter reviews the emergence of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) movement and its goals for dealing with small claims matters. The second chapter focuses on program development, organization and staffing. Chapter three reviews the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of program options for case processing including the definition of caseload, case referral and scheduling, the hearing, and the agreement. The fourth, and final, chapter describes the development, organization, and current procedures of six programs studied for this report. The description of each program provides an overview of the general small claims procedure, a detailed description of the program and the name and address of a contact person.

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Delgado, Richard. 1988. ADR and the Dispossessed: Recent Books about the Deformalization Movement. Law and Social Inquiry 13(1): 145-54.

Delgado's essay reviews the following books: Richard Hofrichter's 1987 book, Neighbourhood Justice in Capitalist Society: The Expansion of the Informal State; Christine B. Harrintgon's 1985 work, Shadow Justice: The Ideology and Institutionalization of Alternatives to Court; and Stephen B. Goldberg, Eric D. Green, and Frank E. Sander's Dispute Resolution, published in Boston by Little, Brown and Company in 1985. The analyses of Hofrichter and Harrington are particularly relevant to the development of a critical perspective on community justice centres and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms in general. These authors are critical of community justice centres and argue that informalism operates as a mask for the extension of state power and control. Delgado concludes that deformalized justice is a potentially harmful experiment. ADR may permit society to avoid dealing with disputes or, alternatively, increase the likelihood of outcomes coloured by prejudice. (See annotations Harrington 1985, Hofrichter 1987; see also Gallagher 1988.)

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DeStephen, Dan, and Melissa Van. 1988. Evaluation of the Dayton Neighbourhood Mediation Center. Dayton, Ohio.

This evaluation of the Dayton Neighbourhood Mediation Center's second year of operation relies on data from the evaluation of the centre's first nine months of operation and data from January to September 1988. After examining data pertaining to the number and types of cases handled, referral sources, results of referrals, and levels of satisfaction with the mediation process, the authors conclude that while the low percentage of cases actually mediated (fifteen percent in 1988) is troubling, the fact that twenty-nine percent of cases were successfully conciliated means that the centre is able to resolve almost half of the cases that come to it. According to DeStephen and Van, this conclusion, coupled with the high levels of user satisfaction and strong support from volunteer mediators and referral agencies, implies that the centre has been successful in meeting the needs of the citizens of Dayton.

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Dolan, Norm. 1989. The Victoria Dispute Resolution Centre: An Evaluation. Victoria, British Columbia: Ministry of the Attorney General and the Dispute Resolution Centre.

The purpose of this evaluation was to determine the degree to which the program had met its original objectives, and to identify the types of changes that would improve the process and the outcome of services. Data was taken from three sources: a document search of 238 opened files; interviews with 235 people who used the centre's services; interviews with staff and volunteers at the centre; and interviews with representatives from referral agencies. The results were very favourable regarding the effectiveness of mediation. The equivalent of ten court days over fourteen months were saved from the small claims court calendar. In the absence of the centre, fifty-six percent of referrals would likely have gone to small claims court. The study found that the cost per unit of service at the centre was twenty-one percent lower than that of the small claims court. In view of delays in the small claims court calendar of up to six months, the author concludes that the centre had an overall effect of increasing people's access to justice. More people were able to resolve disputes due to the availability of dispute resolution services at the centre.

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Duryea, Michelle LeBaron. 1992. Conflict and Culture: A Literature Review and Bibliography. Victoria, British Columbia: UVic Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Over 200 titles are annotated in this work, which also contains an extensive literature review and essay. Duryea states that to the extent the mediation model used in North American community justice centres "is wedded to Anglo-American or European ethnocentrism, its usefulness may be limited." Questions are raised about the applicability of the North American mediation model to other cultural settings or to heterogeneous settings. "The staged mediation model most often used at the community level across the United States and Canada may not fit well at all," writes Duryea. The many findings from the literature include the desirability of client-centred process design and the importance of the differences between individualistic and collectivist cultures in training and process design. Duryea emphasizes the central importance of cultural awareness for dispute resolution practitioners.

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Duryea, Michelle LeBaron, and J. Bruce Grundison. 1993. Conflict and Culture: Research in Five Communities in Vancouver, British Columbia. Victoria, British Columbia: UVic Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Duryea reports the results of field research among five immigrant groups in the Lower Mainland area surrounding Vancouver, British Columbia: Chinese, Latin American, Polish, South Asian (including India), and Vietnamese. Informants were interviewed concerning kinds of conflicts and methods of conflict resolution employed traditionally and after immigration to Canada. She notes that members of minority cultures are not among the chief users of community mediation centres in British Columbia. Findings include the following: respondents lacked knowledge about mediation; informal means of conflict resolution were strongly preferred with a reluctance to involve officials; some respondents expressed preference for ingroup intervenors who would help restore harmony and repair damage caused in the conflict; some expressed a preference for non-neutral intervenors with persuasive authority rather than neutral intervenors with no power to impose solutions. Duryea recommends that conflict resolution programs use a "client-centred" model of conflict resolution which would elicit participation of the disputants in process design, and treat the dispute resolution process as an educational experience for the parties. This model would be qualitatively different from the "cookie cutter" model currently used in many North American community mediation settings. Suggestions offered include: some of the people engaged in designing and offering services should be members of the ethnocultural groups served; written materials should be produced in English and other languages; the assessment phase is critical for process design; intervenors must be aware of the values of the disputants. The work contains detailed information about the traditional and transitional conflict styles of the surveyed groups.

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Felstiner, William L. F., and Lynne A. Williams. 1980. Community Mediation in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

The authors' objective in undertaking this study of the mediation component of the Dorchester Urban Court was primarily descriptive: "to report the dynamics of mediation in detail, to describe the kinds of disputes it processed, the kinds of disputants who mobilized it, and the results in terms of changes in their lives which it produced, and to report who the mediators were and what kinds of training they received." The authors were also asked to look into the cost of mediation and the savings it produced in court costs. Felstiner and Williams argue that sustained mediator training that addresses the particular type of disputes the mediator is likely to hear is critical. Finally, the authors conclude that it is unfair to compare mediation to court, because disputants in criminal court cases usually receive almost no services from the court: "The most typical court career is several continuances and a dismissal while a significant proportion of mediation referrals lead to hearings." In short, the two authors submit that the benefits of mediation can be expected to exceed those of criminal processing.

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Galaway, Burt. 1988. Crime Victim and Offender Mediation as a Social Work Strategy. Social Service Review 62:668-83.

This article draws from the experience of using Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) procedures with juvenile property offenders and their victims in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. This research is supplemented with data from a national VORP information system that has one-year data from nine American VORPs. Galaway reports that 165 offenders and 162 victims participated in the first two years of the Minnesota VORP. One hundred and twenty-eight agreements were negotiated between ninety-nine offenders and eighty-four victims. Seventy-nine percent of agreements were successfully completed. From a policy perspective, the author suggests that the VORP concept provides a mechanism to respond to victim interest in participating in the justice system. A growing body of research indicates that both victims and the general public support the use of mediation. Galaway reports that the public is in favour of replacing incarceration with restitution, community service, and mediation as a response to property offenders.

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Gallagher, William T. 1988. The Transformation of Justice: Hofrichter's Neighbourhood Justice and Harrington's Shadow Justice. Law and Social Inquiry 13(1): 133-43.

This essay reviews Richard Hofrichter's 1987 book, Neighbourhood Justice in Capitalist Society: The Expansion of the Informal State; and Christine Harrington's 1985 work, Shadow Justice: The Ideology and Institutionalization of Alternatives to Court. These books examine the development of community justice centres in the U.S.A. Both authors are critical of community justice centres and argue that the guise of informalism has been used to extend state control and power. Hofrichter's analysis is grounded in neo-Marxist theory. His work is unique in its presentation of a framework for understanding the transformative capacity of alternative dispute resolution methods. Gallagher writes that Harrington's theory is less encumbered by Marxian functionalism and her empirical work is more successful. Harrington's research is based on a case study of the Kansas City Neighbourhood Justice Center and is supplemented by secondary historical sources. Gallagher concludes that both authors need additional empirical evidence to be convincing. (See annotations Harrington 1985; Hofrichter 1987; see also Delgado 1988.)

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Glassman, Eric J. 1992. The Function of Mediation in China: Examining the Impact of Regulations Governing the People's Mediation Committees. UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal 10:460-88.

Glassman notes that officials from around the world have expressed interest in the uniquely Chinese model of mediation. The author's examination reveals the following information: China possesses the largest civil mediation program in the world; more than seven million disputes are solved each year; and up to ninety percent of all civil disputes in China are settled by mediation. An interconnected system of dispute resolution has developed in China, which is compatible with both Chinese tradition and Communist ideology. Four specific types of mediation are practised in China. Glassman focuses on People's Mediation Committees, which provide a settlement mechanism for a range of community disputes. He concludes that the system of mediation successfully complements the formal legal system and is more independent, professional and efficient than before, and is of great value to the regime.

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Goldstein, Susan B. 1986. Cultural Issues in Mediation: A Literature Review. Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The author examines specific cultural factors relevant to the use of mediation and makes suggestions for dealing with concomitant cultural variables. Due to the lack of empirical research in this area, the author relies on a review of intercultural communications and cross-cultural counselling literature. Goldstein describes three problem areas in intercultural interaction, discusses eight specific cultural differences which may effect the use of mediation, and concludes by offering a series of recommendations, including the use of "within-culture" mediators along with indiginous forms of mediation, and training of "culture general" mediators who can handle disputes across cultures. Goldstein suggests a combination of both, and acknwledges the need for further research.

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Harrington, Christine B. 1985. Shadow Justice: The Ideology and Institutionalization of Alternatives to Court. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

Harrington's book places the phenomenon of the development of neighbourhood justice centres in the context of justice reforms witnessed in the United States since the 1970s. These reforms, according to Harrington, emphasize the ideology of informalism in state processing of disputes. The ideals of informalism suggest that the state withdraw its authority over minor disputes and allow the community to provide a therapeutic context for dispute resolution. In reality, Harrington suggests, the institutionalization of informalism through neighbourhood justice centres may in fact be expanding the authority of the state. While submission of disputes to neighbourhood justice centres is ostensibly voluntary, there are coercive elements by virtue of referral by police or other criminal justice agents. Also, neighbourhood justice centres largely depend on the exercise of official discretion in referring cases to them. Harrington also notes that institutionalization of mediation may lead to the loss of important resources, namely, a rights approach to social justice, and the courts as a forum for political action and struggle. Harrington suggests that the professionalization of mediation through certification and training is a move toward institutionalization of mediation as another tier in the judicial system.

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Harrington, Christine B., and Sally Engle Merry. 1988. Ideological Production: The Making of Community Mediation. Law & Society Review 22(4): 709-35.

The authors suggest that two processes determine the ideological shape of community mediation: the process of mobilizing funding, institutional support, caseloads, and legitimacy; and the process of selecting mediators who articulate the vision and refine the practice of mediation. This analysis is based on eight years of research on the national reform movement and on data from a detailed study of three local New England mediation programs. In the national movement, the authors examine the interplay of three analytically distinguishable aims of community mediation: delivery of dispute resolution services, social transformation, and personal growth. Within the local programs, the authors examine the selection of mediators who, they observe, tend to be selected for their neutrality - that is, their "detached stance." Based on their conclusion "that the ideology of mediator neutrality cuts across ideologically diverse programs," they suggest, that "the ideology of consensual process submerges the ideology of community justice."

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Henry, Stuart. 1985. Community Justice, Capitalist Society, and Human Agency: The Dialectics of Collective Law in the Cooperative. Law & Society Review 19(2): 303-27.

The relationship between social structures and community justice is examined by the author. The first section reviews the commentary concerning the theoretical limitations of community justice. Henry does not accept the critical view that the dominant social and legal structures are the sole beneficiaries of community justice experiments. Nor does the author believe that community programs function as completely independent alternative systems of justice. Data from a study of a number of collective justice systems suggest less absolute conclusions than those proposed by many advocates and critics. Henry formulates a theory which acknowledges community justice institutions to be products of a complex and ambiguous set of interactions between individuals and the social structures in which they operate. Finally, the author speculates that within this ambiguity there is potential for broad-based socio-legal change.

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Hermann, Michele, Gary Lafree, Christine Rack, and Mary Beth West. 1993. An Empirical Study of the Effects of Race and Gender on Small Claims Adjudication and Mediation. New Mexico: Institute of Public Law, University of New Mexico.

This study asked whether informal processes, such as alternative dispute resolution, are more susceptible than adjudication to bias. Their study of 603 cases in New Mexico revealed that socio-cultural factors do influence decision-making processes. Two findings are especially provocative: white women tend to do as well or better than others in mediation, yet are less satisfied with the outcome; and ethnic minorities achieve relatively poorer monetary outcomes than do whites, especially in mediation, yet are more satisfied with the outcome. The disadvantage to members of cultural minorities "largely disappeared" when the mediators were themselves members of cultural minorities. The authors conclude that we must develop techniques which "level the playing field" for all disputants in mediation.

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Hofrichter, Richard. 1987. Neighbourhood Justice in Capitalist Society: The Expansion of the Informal State. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

Hofrichter says that neighbourhood justice centres are not what they seem. Informal dispute resolution forums appear to promote the values of local community culture; in reality they are a new form of the capitalist state's management of social order, extending state control into "areas of social life rarely touched by the state." While appearing autonomous, they remain connected to the state legal system and legal concepts: most operate within the courts or court agencies. By defining disputes as interpersonal, community mediation ignores the social basis of conflict. By individualizing problems, neighbourhood cohesion can be further fragmented, possibly leading to political impotence. Hofrichter concludes that if neighbourhood dispute resolution forums interpret conflict within broad social contexts such as unemployment or poor housing, generalize problems in an openly political manner, are accountable to communities, and are committed to social change, they could represent "a way of channelling the energy of grassroots activists and a potential to mobilize for progressive change."

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Hughes, Stella P., and Anne L. Schneider. 1989. Victim-Offender Mediation: A Survey of Program Characteristics and Perceptions of Effectiveness. Crime and Delinquency 35(2): 217-33.

This article reports findings from a survey of 240 juvenile justice organizations in the United States. Program designs, goals, and perceptions of effectiveness are discussed. Among other things, the survey revealed that, as a whole, mediation programs appeared to be fairly widespread and functioning well; that mediation programs generally were supported by the community and those working with juveniles; and that financial support came largely from local, state, and federal allocations.

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Iwai, Nobuaki. 1991. The Judge as Mediator: The Japanese Experience. Civil Justice Quarterly 10:108-23.

The author provides a review of the judge-driven dispute resolution procedures used in the formal legal system of Japan. On a very slender statutory foundation, Japanese judges have developed a subtle structure of court-directed initiatives and procedures; thus, the judge's role may shift back and forth from adjudicator to mediator. Some form of active involvement in the settlement of cases is the norm. Discreet management of the roles permits an equitable balance of efficiency and substantial justice. The author concludes that the Japanese model may provide a useful example for Western observers, in the light of increasing interest in informal dispute resolution processes.

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Juhala, J., S. Lund, and B. McAdoo. 1988. Evaluation of a Six Month Project on the Effect of Telephone Follow-up on Party Willingness to Mediate Discrimination Disputes. St. Paul, Minnesota: St. Paul Mediation Center.

This study was conducted by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the Minnesota State Planning Agency, the Conflict and Change Project of the University of Minnesota and the St. Paul Mediation Center. The study was designed to provide information regarding the various factors that influence a party's decisions with respect to mediation; the effectiveness of telephone contact with parties in increasing participation in mediation; the amount of time spent on telephone contacts; parties' satisfaction with mediation; and individual perceptions of fairness and efficiency. Data collection took place between April, 1987, and January, 1988. A total of 383 charges were considered eligible to be part of the study; these were divided between "Letter Alone" and "Letter and Follow-up" groups. In the 191 cases in the Letter Alone group, parties received a letter asking them to return a form to the St. Paul Mediation Center to indicate a willingness to mediate. In the 192 cases assigned to the Letter and Follow-up group, parties received the letter and were contacted by case developers who endeavoured to explain the mediation process, enumerate its advantages and disadvantages, and answer questions. Data collection also included questionnaires regarding the parties' decision to mediate, parties' satisfaction with mediation, and information about mediators themselves.

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Kressel, Kenneth, and Dean Pruitt, eds. 1989. Mediation Research: The Process and Effectiveness of Third-Party Intervention. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.

This collection of specially-commissioned writing in the field of mediation research is divided into four parts: Part One presents recent evaluation research; Part Two illustrates the use of case study methodology; Part Three groups together research programs that use aggregate data to explore what factors influence the process and outcome of mediation; and, Part Four includes four chapters based on observation and experimentation. While the over-all focus of this text is mediation generally, many of the articles focus on community dispute resolution.

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Lemmon, John Allen, ed. 1984. Community Mediation. Mediation Quarterly 5. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.

This volume of the Mediation Quarterly, the journal of the Academy of Family Mediators, contains six articles on community mediation. Articles range from a discussion of goals, values and ethics of community dispute resolution (Raymond Shonholtz) and the use of mediation by police (Joseph E. Palenski), to issues relating procedures and training to effectiveness (Robert V. Strena and George D. Westermark), the effectiveness of mediation and arbitration used in sequence (Michael S. Gillie), mediating political disputes (Richard A. Salem) and funding and development (Anne Richan).

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Longmire, Dennis R. 1981. A Popular Justice System: A Radical Alternative to the Traditional Criminal Justice System. Contemporary Crises 5(1): 15-30.

The author proposes a popular justice system similar to the Danzig model (see annotation Danzig 1973). Longmire advocates a community-based system to replace rather than complement the existing law enforcement system. Evidence is cited from a number of neighbourhood justice programs to suggest that the domain of the formal justice system is being challenged by some viable alternatives. Longmire considers the New York Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center to be among the programs which exemplify the ideals of a community-based justice system.

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Lubet, Steven. 1989. Some Early Observations on an Experiment with Mandatory Mediation. Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 4:235-54.

In an evaluation of the "Mediation in a Judicial Environment" workshop on the Florida Mediation Act, the author concludes that the Florida experiment has been successful in de-emphasizing conflict and litigation, while promoting citizen-empowered cooperative dispute resolution. Lubet suggests, however, that the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) movement may not be ready for this kind of success, because court annexation of mediation implies an abandonment of the ADR counter-culture.

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MacBride, Dexter D. 1992. Volunteerism, Mediation, City Government: An Extraordinary Mix. In Beyond Borders, 19th Annual Conference Proceedings. Washington, D.C: Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution.

In an attempt to determine why so few cities in California have created city-sponsored or -operated mediation centres, the Claremont Dispute Resolution Centre conducted an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) experiment with the following goals: to encourage the establishment of a city-sponsored mediation centre; to organize community elements interested in ADR; and to create a regional network between community organizations, city government and volunteers to serve as a base for a city mediation centre. Major lessons learned from the Diamond Bar Mediation Program include: new programs of a substantive and practical nature need not always rely upon a dollar pipeline from city funds; volunteerism is a major force in both the public and private sectors of the U.S.; no matter how entrenched behavioral patterns may be, citizens will respond to new methods and ideas; a key ingredient in any mediation program is provision of trained mediation specialists; absence of a public relations press staff will not prove fatal in establishing a city mediation centre; preparation of a mediation clause, suitable for consideration and possible inclusion in city contracts requires thoughtful legal research; and program initiation requires understanding and support from city management and administration.

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McCarthy, John J. 1982. Dispute Resolution: Seeking Justice Outside the Courtroom. Corrections Magazine 8(4): 33-40.

McCarthy reviews the development of dispute resolution centres in the U.S.A. Various programs are discussed, including the Columbus Night Prosecutor Program, the Atlanta Neighbourhood Justice Center, the Milwaukee Mediation Center, San Francisco's Community Board Program and the Chicago Neighbourhood Justice Office. The author points to the equivocal nature of many of the claims put forward by proponents of mediation. The "bottom line," however, according to Royer Cook who is quoted in the article, is that "people like the way they're treated" in dispute resolution programs. (See annotations Cook, Roehl and Sheppard 1980; Roehl and Cook 1985.)

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McEwen, Craig A., and Richard J. Maiman. 1981. Small Claims Mediation in Maine: An Empirical Assessment. Maine Law Review 33:237-68.

This is the first report of a social scientific research project undertaken to gather data on mediation programs and to address a range of issues raised by Maine's adoption of mediation as an alternative to small claims courts. The goal of the study was to compare the processes of mediation and adjudication and to compare effects on disputants. The authors compared three courts that used mediation with three that relied exclusively on adjudication. When comparing outcomes, the authors found that the success rates varied with the nature of the case and the characteristics of the parties involved. The data strongly supported the hypothesis that mediation is more likely than adjudication to lead to compliance with the outcome. In terms of litigant satisfaction and sense of fairness, McEwen and Maiman argue that mediation sessions offer participants a greater opportunity to vent emotions and explore side issues because of their informality, relative privacy, participatory character, and generally longer duration than trials.

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McEwen, Craig A., and Richard J. Maiman. 1986. The Relative Significance of Disputing Forum and Dispute Characteristics for Outcome and Compliance. Law and Society Review 20(3): 439-47.

The authors disagree with Vidmar's (1984, 1985) conclusion that admission of liability by the defendant is a stronger predictor of both settlement and compliance than the type of forum. Acknowledging "potential variation in the effect of forum on cases with different characteristics," McEwen and Maiman remain convinced that mediation produces more satisfaction and more compliance with outcomes than adjudication. Future research, they say, should examine in more detail the significance of variations in the ways that mediation and adjudication are implemented. (See annotations McEwen and Maiman 1981; Vidmar 1984, 1985, 1987.)

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McGillis, Daniel. 1981. Delivering Everyday Justice. Public Welfare 39:34-9.

McGillis reviews a number of experimental projects which attempt to improve everyday justice through the mediation of disputes outside the courts. He presents a brief history of the American dispute resolution movement and indicates which cases and processes are appropriate for mediation. The author concludes that social service agencies may find nonjudicial dispute processing projects to be valuable allies in the effort to help revitalize the national commitment to substantive justice.

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McGillis, Daniel. 1986. Community Dispute Resolution Programs and Public Policy. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.

This study attempts to achieve the following goals: to summarize recent developments and growth in community dispute resolution; to examine differences in program philosophies, goals and techniques; to assess variations in program structure and their implications for operations; to investigate the quality of justice rendered by the programs and present empirical evidence; to examine program costs and efficiency; and to consider the impact of community dispute resolution on access to justice. In addition to reviewing relevant literature, McGillis conducted telephone surveys and site visits to a variety of programs, carried out a computer analysis on profiles in the American Bar Association's 1985 Dispute Resolution Program Directory, and observed the Congressional processing of the 1980 U.S. Dispute Resolution Act.

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McRobert, Chris. 1990. Mediation in Local Courts: An Alternative to Contested Hearings. Law Society Journal 28:50-2.

The author reports the commencement of a pilot scheme to introduce mediation into a Local Court in Australia. The project appeared in 1990 as an alternative to a contested hearing before a magistrate or civil arbitrator. Mediations are normally conducted by two trained mediators provided by the Community Justice Centre. The article describes the various stages of a typical mediation and address questions and concerns about the process.

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Mediation U.K. 1993. Guide to Starting a Community Mediation Service. Bristol, England: Mediation U.K.

A new mediation program must be effectively designed and implemented. This publication is intended to provide a catalogue of procedures and principles for anyone interested in developing a community mediation service. The information in this guide is based on the best practice of existing programs in the United Kingdom. The guide is arranged in five parts. Part I is a general introduction to mediation in the UK. Part II is entitled "Setting up a Mediation Service - in Brief." Part III suggests a detailed organizational strategy. Part IV describes the process of setting up a mediation service as an independent, voluntary organization. Part V indicates the steps involved in setting up a mediation service as part of an agency. Finally, the work includes an appendix with sample forms and other documents.

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Merry, Sally Engle. 1987. Disputing Without Culture. Review of Dispute Resolution, by Stephen B. Goldberg, Eric D. Green, and Frank E. A. Sander. Harvard Law Review 100:2057-73.

Merry believes that proponents of dispute resolution present an uncritical view of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). She uses the review article as a forum to express several criticisms of alternative dispute resolution generally, and community justice centres in particular. Among other things, Merry argues that ADR provides second-class justice; ADR is a nonstate means of social control; and ADR is becoming increasingly formal and legalistic as it becomes more closely connected with the courts. Merry writes that supporters of ADR frequently overlook the significant cultural value of law and legal consciousness. She notes that given the choice most people choose courts over community justice centres as a place to resolve minor interpersonal disputes. Merry argues that the ADR movement provides an ideological justification for denying universal access to courts.

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Mika, Harry. 1992. Social Conflict, Local Justice: Organizational Responses to the Astructural Bias. Interaction 4 (Spring): supplement.

This article is adapted from the author's 1992 paper: "Mediation Interventions and Restorative Justice: Responding to the Structural Bias," in H. U. Otto's Conflict, Crime and Reconciliation: The Organization of Welfare Intervention in the Field of Restitutive Justice (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer). Mika comments on recent stinging indictments of informal justice and the practice of mediation. Such criticisms include: low levels of community participation; preferences for affective strategies and procedures divorced from the social realities of conflict; precarious political and economic realities of informal justice organizations; imposition of select interests and values upon the processes of informal justice; second class justice; lack of perceptible decrease in community conflict; and, evolving bureaucratization, professionalization, and "turf" conflict among informal justice programs. Mika offers several organizational attributes which might help to reconcile the "astructural bias" of the contemporary practice of mediation with the structural character of community conflict. He suggests linking of programs with larger community structures. This would include community control of programs, brokering of resources on behalf of clients to address root source of community conflict, and a predisposition to intervening in group conflict. Second, he suggests program characteristics such as targeting sources of structural conflict within communities, responsiveness to persistent community needs, interagency alliances and strategies, and a predisposition for evaluation. Third, Mika suggests functional characteristics which include negotiations that "address - squarely - sources of conflict," agreements which address chronic community problems, and community outreach which addresses "literacy in dispute resolution and peacemaking."

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Moog, Robert S. 1991. Conflict and Compromise: The Politics of Lok Adalats in Varanasi District. Law & Society Review 25(3): 545-59.

This study of informal dispute processing in India focuses on the political behaviour of the actors involved in the organization, administration, and staffing of a relatively new alternative to adjudication - the lok adalat (LA). LAs are held several times a year in towns throughout the Varanasi district. Their mandate is to promote justice through compromise or settlement of disputes. Ideally, LAs function as conciliatory bodies and participation is voluntary. In reality, little or no actual conciliation takes place in the vast majority of cases and coercion in the selection process appears to be common. The author concludes that the disjuncture between the ideal and the actual is in part a manifestation of the unique political context within which the LAs and courts exist.

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Nicholson, M. E. R. 1983. Modern Mediator in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 3:204-27.

This examination of a variety of mediators who function in two different cultural contexts is based on the author's interviews in the French Basque area of northern Euskalerria in 1980 and with mediators in Marin Mediation Services in California in 1981. The author observes that the usual choice of conflict management is influenced by context. Marinites, who are primarily suburban and professional and emphasize individual initiative and competition, take their disputes to court. Most residents of northern Euskalerria, who are primarily rural and traditional, maintain the age-old custom of turning to mediators. The author finds that while these two societies have disparate conflict management configurations, the practice of mediation in the two areas is distinctly similar. Nicholson concludes that mediation cannot be described in terms of the `nonindustrial technologically-simple' and `industrial technologically-complex' dichotomy. Instead, the complexity of mediation mandates a multifaceted approach.

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O'Doherty, Hugh. 1989. Mediation Evaluation: Status Report and Challenges for the Future. Evaluation Practice 10(4): 8-19.

Mediation is moving out of the "forming" phase of development into the "storming" phase, according to O'Doherty. Therefore, conflicts of norms, values, and action strategies have arisen internally in the field and externally between the field and the wider society. Such conflicts are vital to the subsequent "norming" phase of development in which the discipline of mediation begins to articulate guidelines for behaviour. As this phase progresses the importance of evaluation increases. O'Doherty discusses previous evaluation efforts before reviewing a survey in which the directors of ninety-five mediation programs in twenty-five states were interviewed by telephone. The author examines evaluation instruments used by program directors. He concludes that if evaluation is to provide genuinely useful information, a significant investment of resources is necessary during the early design stages of a program. In addition, the author states that the field may now need to generate evaluation strategies to manage more sophisticated challenges to program survival.

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Ogus, Anthony, Michael Jones-Lee, William Cole, and Peter McCarthy. 1990. Evaluating Alternative Dispute Resolution: Measuring the Impact of Family Conciliation on Costs. Modern Law Review 53:57-74.

The authors analyze a four year study carried out by the Conciliation Project Unit on the comparative costs and effectiveness of family conciliation schemes in England and Wales. The study divided the services provided into four categories: court-based conciliation with high judicial control (a judge or registrar was present at the beginning and/or end of a conciliation appointment); court-based conciliation with low judicial control (the judiciary were not present); and independent conciliation without probation link (role of probation service, if any, was confined to membership of a management committee). The authors conclude that a national conciliation service established on the basis of the independent model would be the most effective scheme, but acknowledge that this would require additional resources.

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Palfrey, Thomas, and Thomas Romer. 1983. Warranties, Performance and the Resolution of Buyer-Seller Disputes. Bell Journal of Economics 14:97-117.

Mechanisms to resolve consumer complaints have been a major focus of the call for alternative ways to deal with relatively small disputes. Many disputes between buyers and sellers concern product quality and whether a claim of poor product performance is covered by a warranty issued by the seller. The authors develop an analytical framework to examine the impact of various types of dispute resolution mechanisms on buyer-seller disputes.

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Peachey, Dean E. 1989. The Kitchener Experiment. In Mediation and Criminal Justice: Victims, Offenders and Community, ed. Martin Wright and Burt Galaway. London, Ontario: Sage Publications.

Peachey presents a chronicle of the experience of the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) experience in Kitchener, Ontario. This pioneer program is identified as the prototype of programs which promote meetings between victims and offenders in order to explore the possibilities of reconciliation and reparation. This article explores the unique, evolutionary nature of the Kitchener VORP. Attention is given to the various phases of the program's development, with an intimate focus on the program's key contributors. Peachey concludes that the Kitchener experiment is a monument to the application of the principles of reconciliation and interpersonal healing in the context of criminal justice. He adds that the program has inspired innovations in communities throughout Canada, Europe and the United States. (See annotation Wright and Galaway 1989.)

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Pearson, Jessica. 1982. An Evaluation of Alternatives to Court Adjudication. Justice System Journal 7:420-44.

The author reviews mediation and arbitration literature available at the time to determine whether alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures work and how they compare with adjudication. She considers the extent to which mediation and arbitration achieve seven objectives: efficient utilization by disputants; successful disposition of cases; development of compromise outcomes; user satisfaction; improved compliance and reduced re-litigation; savings in time and money; and, reduction in court backlog. Generally, the studies show that mediation and arbitration fail to achieve many of their performance goals in terms of reducing court congestion and saving money, but in terms of qualitative goals, the studies are more encouraging. Pearson concludes that while mediation and arbitration programs fall short of some expectations, they have made distinct contributions to the administration of justice.

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Perry, Linda, Thérèse Lajeunesse, and Anna Woods. 1987. Mediation Services: An Evaluation. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Attorney General of Manitoba.

The authors present the findings of an evaluation of Mediation Services, established in Winnipeg in 1979. This program utilizes trained volunteers and handles three basic types of cases: diversion, community disputes and post-plea. The evaluation reviewed 1,021 files opened at Mediation Services in 1984 and 1985, ninety-one percent of which concerned a Criminal Code offence. Forty-five percent of those cases were actually mediated with agreements reached in eighty-eight percent. Complainant and respondent interviews demonstrated a high level of satisfaction with the services provided: ninety-two percent of those who were able to reach an agreement indicated they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with the agreement, while eighty-one of all interviewees said they would use the service again. Where there were negative comments regarding the service, these were primarily directed toward a lack of enforcement of the agreement (eight percent), inadequate follow-up procedures (four percent) and a perceived bias in favour of the other party (five percent).

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Roberts, Tim. 1992. Evaluation of the Small Claims Projects of Westcoast Mediation Services and the Conflict Resolution Centre. Victoria, British Columbia: UVic Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Two community justice centres in British Columbia were evaluated by Roberts in 1991. The staff of one centre, the Conflict Resolution Centre (CRC), included an intercultural worker. Clients of the two projects were broadly reflective of the respective communities in terms of education, income, first language, age and occupation; however, the clientele were predominantly male, especially among Indo-Canadian clientele. Eighty-seven percent of respondents felt the mediators were fair. Compliance with mediated agreements was eighty-three percent, "slightly higher" than two comparison community mediation programs in Victoria and Windsor-Essex. Client satisfaction was high. Because of the extremely low case volumes, however, the two programs did not save tax dollars by reducing small claims court loads. The low number of requests for mediation was attributed to issues related to public relations and networking with potential referral sources. The low volume may also be attributable to the lack of prior or current relationship between parties in small claims disputes. Relevant issues also include the lack of ties to an institutional referral base, and the development of mandatory pre-trial settlement conferences in small claims courts in British Columbia in 1991 "which may limit the growth potential of community-based mediation programs." Also noted was the fact that no British Columbia provincial funding is provided to community-based programs. Included in the evaluation are suggestions by the CRC's intercultural worker for a number of modifications to the mediation model for Indo-Canadian clients.

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Roberts, Tim. 1993. A Self-Evaluation Manual for Community-Based Mediation Programs: Tools for Monitoring and Recording Data. Victoria, British Columbia: UVic Institute for Dispute Resolution.

This manual is a by-product of Roberts' Evaluation of the Small Claims Projects of Westcoast Mediation Services and the Conflict Resolution Centre, and is intended to assist new or existing mediation organizations with self-evaluation. Addressing the need for appropriate monitoring forms and recording procedures, the author includes sample telephone and contact logs, client intake records, and questionnaires for follow-up evaluation.

Rockhill, Nathalie. 1993. Building the Caseload: Report from the Conflict Resolution Service St. Stephen's Community House. Waterloo, Ontario: Fund for Dispute Resolution.

Rockhill documents the results of a research project to test strategies designed to move the Conflict Resolution Service from a position of marginality to the status of a recognized community institution. The result was the quadrupling of the caseload from the target area in a one-year period. The most effective strategy was to develop relationships with individuals in organizations whose mandate included dealing with conflict. Local media coverage was also effective. Other useful strategies included a regular newsletter, public service announcements, and a "palm card" which listed basic information about the service on the back. Appendices to this publication include sample brochures, palm card, and newspaper articles.

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Roehl, Janice A., and Royer F. Cook. 1985. Issues in Mediation: Rhetoric and Reality Revisited. Journal of Social Issues 41(2): 161-78.

Having argued that Roman Tomasic's primarily negative review of community mediation, "Mediation as an Alternative to Adjudication" (in Roman Tomasic and Malcolm Feeley, eds., Neigbourhood Justice: Assessment of an Emerging Idea, 1982), is unwarranted, Roehl and Cook undertake a re-examination of the central issues of mediation. After finding that the current literature indicates mediation is an effective means of resolving a wide variety of disputes in an effective manner, the authors discuss two larger roles of mediation in society: mediation's role in the justice system; and mediation's role in the community. (See annotation Tomasic and Feeley 1982.)

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Roine, Larry A. 1977. The Use of Mediation and Arbitration for the Resolution of Consumer Grievances. Ottawa, Ontario: Consumer Research Council.

After identifying reasons a person may be reluctant to resort to court action for resolution of a consumer dispute, the author considers experiments and developments in the fields of conciliation and adjudication of consumer complaints in an effort to determine which system will resolve disputes with the greatest speed, economy and justice. The author uses the terms "conciliation" and "mediation" interchangeably. Roine identifies the following benefits of an informal hearing procedure: financial savings for both users and for the public; savings in time; and a friendlier environment. The author stipulates a variety of minimum criteria to which any such mechanism must conform in order to meet the requirement that it provide a system of justice to users: visibility, accessibility, impartiality and independence, efficiency, informality, finality, flexibility and accountability.

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Sarat, Austin. 1976. Alternatives in Dispute Processing: Litigation in a Small Claims Court. Law & Society Review 10:339-75.

This case study of litigation in a small claims court in New York City (Manhattan) examined the results of cases handled by dispute processing alternatives available in the small claims court. The choices available were adjudication or arbitration, but the arbitrators generally engaged in "mixed arbitration." Arbitration was chosen by sixty-five percent of parties, while adjudication was chosen by thirty-five percent. Adjudicated settlements more clearly favoured one party, but outcomes were found to vary considerably depending on characteristics of the parties involved and whether or not they had legal representation. A party with previous court experience fared better, as did parties with an attorney in both adjudication and arbitration. Most importantly, the author found that the kind of procedure chosen had a significant impact on the subsequent relationship of the parties. Arbitration did less damage to the parties relationship than did adjudication. Sarat concludes that choosing how to handle conflict is a complex act with significant consequences for the parties involved and for society.

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Selva, Lance H., and Robert M. Bohm. 1987. A Critical Examination of the Informalism Experiment in the Administration of Justice. Crime and Social Justice 29:43-57.

The authors review liberal and radical arguments which advocate the establishment of a more informal, decentralized, and participatory court system. The proliferation of dispute resolution centres is noted to be symptomatic of a general transformation in the political economy from competitive capitalism to late monopoly capitalism. The article examines different models of informal justice, the reasons for the development of the informalism experiment, and the contradictions inherent in the promises of the experiment with informalism. It is concluded that popular justice values such as lay participation, self-determination and sense of community may serve an important symbolic function in transitional efforts for social change. However, a much broader social, economic, and political movement is required for fundamental change.

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Shonholtz, Raymond. 1984a. Neighbourhood Justice Systems: Work, Structure, and Guiding Principles. Mediation Quarterly 5:3-30.

In a series of four papers, the author discusses how to build primary justice systems at the community level and how to use the traditional justice system as an alternative process. In "A Justice System That Isn't Working and Its Impact on the Community," Shonholtz argues that a separate community-based system is necessary not only to meet individual and neighbourhood needs, but also to ensure that the traditional system is able to function properly. In "New Justice Theories and Practices," the author examines three models of alternative justice programs and concludes that the principal failure of the alternative justice movement has been its agency focus and the expansion of justice agencies into the civil or social areas of community life. In "The Work and Structure of a Neighbourhood Justice System," the author first describes what is possible when a community exercises its civic justice responsibility and capacity, then identifies the values and ethics of a community justice system. In the fourth article, "Neighbourhood Justice Forums: An Expression of Neighbourhood Governance," the author argues that the purpose of community forums is to enable neighbourhoods and their residents to express and resolve a broad range of individual and community conflicts.

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Shonholtz, Raymond. 1984b. Should Dispute Resolution Be Attached to the Courts? Dispute Resolution Forum (June): 3-4.

Shonholtz distinguishes between programs connected to formal justice agencies and community conciliation systems separate from the traditional justice system. He notes that community conciliation systems are designed to receive disputes and reduce tension before the conflict escalates to a level that compels justice agency attention. The actual resolution of these disputes is the responsibility of the disputants who make use of the conciliation service. The conciliation service performs a vital role in communities. Shonholtz makes three key points: the incorporation of conflict resolution within a monopolistic justice system has led to an inability to reach potentially violent conflicts early and resolve them; a gap exists between public expectation and the actual performance of the justice system; and there has been a concomitant failure by the judiciary to appreciate the responsibilities and functions communities have in promoting justice in a democratic society.

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Shonholtz, Raymond. 1987. The Citizen's Role in Justice: Building a Primary Justice and Prevention System at the Neighborhood Level. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 494:42-53.

Shonholtz states that prevention of social disorder and early intervention in conflicts should be community responsibilities, undertaken by citizens exercising their civic rights. Accordingly, he believes it is essential for policymakers and urban mayors to see the need to support the development of community justice systems. Shonholtz notes that after ten years of experimentation and practice, community conciliation models and programs abound in the United States. The author claims that systems of community justice can actually generate municipal savings while dramatically decreasing violence in American cities. Moreover, building a primary justice system at the community level affects not only the conflicts that people have, but the community life of the neighbourhood and the capacity of citizens to work together in common purpose.

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Singer, Linda, Michael Lewis, Alan Houseman, and Elizabeth Singer. 1992. Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Poor. Part I: What ADR Processes Exist and Why Advocates Should Become Involved. Clearinghouse Review 26:142-53.

This review aims to provide legal services advocates and others with an outline of available alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes. The authors consider the work of community justice centres and discuss new developments in ADR generally. Interestingly, the article notes that a few of the well-established community justice centres are not only dealing with individuals' disputes but are utilizing their skills and experience to settle emotional conflicts among groups of citizens or between citizens' organizations and businesses or government agencies. The tremendous diversity in the quality of programs offered necessitates an abundance of knowledge and sensitivity on the part of legal services advocates.

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Slayton, Linwood, Jr. 1980. Neighbourhood Justice Centers - An Alternative. Litigation 6(2): 28-31.

The executive director of the Atlanta Neighborhood Justice Center discusses the results of the Justice Department's evaluation of three pilot community justice centres. The evaluation demonstrates that mediation is an effective way to resolve minor, interpersonal disputes and to reduce court case loads. Using either mediation or conciliation, the Atlanta Neighborhood Justice Center successfully resolved over forty-five percent of cases. Follow-up results showed that seventy-eight percent of all mediated agreements were fully complied with thirty days later. Almost forty percent of the unresolved cases were those in which the respondent refused to submit to mediation voluntarily. The centre's costs of operation were calculated at eighty-four dollars per case handled or $190 per case successfully resolved. The author argues that this compares very favourably to the cost per case of operating the justice system.

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Smith, David, Harry Blagg, and Nick Derricourt. 1988. Mediation in South Yorkshire. British Journal of Criminology 28(3): 378-95.

This paper presents findings of research concerning the experience of victims and offenders contacted by probation officers working on a victim-offender mediation project in South Yorkshire, England. The authors incorporate accounts of actual mediations. The research indicates that many victims and offenders are willing to explore mediation and many are interested in reconciliation rather than reparation. In conclusion, the authors suggest that the success of mediation is largely dependent upon the skill and sensitivity of the mediator, and that this and other factors may limit the feasibility of generalising the practice of mediation beyond a special project.

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Stephens, Gene. 1987. Participatory Justice. The Futurist 21:22-3.

Stephens argues that the problem with grass roots justice programs so far is that they have been proposed as alternatives within the adversarial system. He writes that the need is for the abolition of the adversarial process and the substitution of a participatory justice system. The participatory model is attuned to individual differences and recognizes that conflicts are normally about competing interests rather than about right and wrong. Communities will find this model to be more appropriate for a world characterized by demassification, decentralization and self-help.

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Thomas, Richard. 1988. Alternative Dispute Resolution - Consumer Disputes. Civil Justice Quarterly 7:206-19.

Thomas assesses the strengths and weaknesses of privately organized systems for resolving consumer disputes. He argues that in the area of consumer claims the psychological and cultural barriers associated with the conventional court system assume major significance because consumer claims are usually small claims. The consumer is not only unrepresented, but is also engaged in legal action as a once-in-a-lifetime experience and is up against a repeat player who is more powerful, more experienced and less susceptible to delays.

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Tomain, J. P., and J. A. Lutz. 1989. A Model for Court-Annexed Mediation. Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 5:1-18.

This article presents a model for the evaluation of court-annexed mediation. The model is based on the authors' experience evaluating a large-scale demonstration program which began operating in 1988. Information came from three sources: case data forwarded by the referring judge; a mediator report regarding mediation activity and outcome; and a survey sent to all mediation participants. Administered under the auspices of the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution in the University of Cincinnati College of Law, the evaluation was motivated by research concerns as well as shaped by the needs of the program. The authors' goal was to generate information that could be applied both to the program and to broader policy questions concerning the merit of the mediation process in general. The authors conclude that the model offers an efficient means of evaluating a community mediation program with long-term gains for both the practitioner and the research community.

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Tomasic, Roman, and Malcolm Feeley, eds. 1982. Neighbourhood Justice: Assessment of an Emerging Idea. New York: Longman.

The purpose of this three-part collection is to bring together new or rare materials pertaining to community justice centres. The first section includes four articles on the theory and practice of community justice centres. The second section contains case studies of four community justice centres in the United States. The final section provides four different assessments of the community justice movement. The volume concludes with an extensive bibliography.

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Turner, David, and Keith Jobson. 1990. The Decision to Mediate Not Litigate. Victoria, British Columbia: UVic Institute for Dispute Resolution.

This report draws on data from a survey of thirty-two "mediants" (people who agreed to try mediation or conciliation at the Victoria Dispute Resolution Centre (DRC) and forty-eight "litigants" (people who filed claims at the Victoria Small Claim Court) between April 1, 1988, and May 31, 1989. Primarily the survey relied on a telephone questionnaire, but some data was also found in the files of the DRC and the Small Claim Court. The authors note that conclusions may not be final because of the small sample size and the fact that interviews took place up to eighteen months after the decision was made. The purpose of the survey was to determine what factors are important in the decision to attempt mediation. The researchers grouped potentially relevant factors into eight categories and designed the questionnaire to elicit information as to whether these factors were acknowledged to be relevant to the person's decision. Among the findings were the following: the absence of a prior existing relationship does not appear to be an important factor; socio-economic factors and age did not appear to be a significant influence on the decision; the influence of a person's gender may require further exploration; a person's knowledge and understanding of mediation may be critical factors in the decision; and questions of efficiency did not appear to be determinative in the decision to mediate. The authors recommend as follows: that more attention should be directed to developing the DRC's information program; research should be directed toward ensuring that mediation as a process is more receptive to women's values than the adversarial system; and, legislative assistance should be encouraged in order to offer mediation as a mainstream justice service.

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Umbreit, Mark S. 1986. Victim/Offender Mediation: A National Survey. Federal Probation 50:53-6.

The National VORP Resource Center was established by the Prisoner and Community Together (PACT) organization, in order to serve as a nationwide clearinghouse for information, training, and technical assistance related to Victim Offender Reconciliation Programs (VORP). In 1985, the centre completed the first nationwide survey of programs providing victim-offender mediation and reconciliation services, which resulted in the publication of the first edition of the National VORP Directory. The data collected indicate a significant amount of diversity among the thirty-two programs identified. The programs in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Quincy, Massachusetts; Batavia, New York; and Valparaiso, Indiana are given particular attention.

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Umbreit, Mark S. 1991. Minnesota Mediation Center Produces Positive Results. Corrections Today 53:192-6.

The Center for Victim Offender Mediation (CVOM) in Minneapolis is a private non-profit agency operating several programs for crime victims, offenders, and their families since 1985. In 1990, Umbreit completed a study of CVOM's effectiveness, based on post-mediation interviews with a sample of fifty-one victims and sixty-six juvenile offenders. The findings revealed that offenders were pleased with the quality of the communication between themselves and their victims. Similarly, victims indicated that being able to meet the offender, talk about what happened, and work out a restitution plan were more important than actually receiving compensation for their losses.

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Umbreit, Mark S. 1993. How to Increase Referrals to Victim-Offender Mediation Programs. Waterloo, Ontario: Fund for Dispute Resolution.

This manual discusses five strategies for increasing referrals to victim-offender mediation programs: analyzing the key stakeholders related to the development and operation of a project; developing an advisory committee; presentations and mini-seminars; victim information letters for use by referral sources; and, weekly phone calls and office visits to key referral sources. Several appendices include sample forms and resource lists.

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Vidmar, Neil. 1984. The Small Claims Court: A Reconceptualization of Disputes and an Empirical Investigation. Law & Society Review 18:515-50.

This is a study of the Ontario Middlesex County Small Claims Court "Resolution Hearing" program introduced in 1978. The author questions the superiority of mediation over litigation in small claims court and takes into account the "liability" variable and its impact on dispute resolution. Vidmar concludes that admission of liability was a major predictor of settlement. The author also found that the mode of dispute resolution chosen was not significantly associated with structural variables such as the presence or absence of lawyers, prior small claims court experience, the number of settlement attempts in the current dispute, or the existence of a prior relationship between the parties. (See annotation McEwen and Maiman 1986.)

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Vidmar, Neil. 1985. An Assessment of Mediation in a Small Claims Court. Journal of Social Issues 41(2): 127-44.

The author examines the claim that mediation is likely to produce a better quality outcome than adjudication by analyzing data derived from a field study of a small claims court which utilized a form of mediation in pre-trial resolution hearings. He compared cases resolved after mediation with cases that went on to adjudication. The author found that satisfaction was not significantly related to whether the case was settled by mediation or adjudicated. He found that the defendant's admission of partial liability was a more important predictor of later compliance. Variability in satifaction with the process was ascribed to perceptions of the fairness of the hearing. Vidmar concludes there may be conflict between the interests of the system such as cost effectiveness, and the interests of the individual such as satisfaction. (See annotation McEwen and Maiman 1986.)

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Vidmar, Neil. 1987. Assessing the Effects of Case Characteristic and Settlement Forum on Dispute Outcome and Compliance. Law and Society Review 21:155-62.

Disagreeing with the conclusions of McEwen and Maiman (1986), Vidmar affirms his 1984 and 1985 interpretation of data from an Ontario small claims court that the defendant's admission of liability is a stronger predictor of settlement than the type of forum (mediation or adjudication). McEwen and Maiman concluded that the mediation forum was a stronger predictor of settlement than adjudication. Vidmar agrees with McEwen and Maiman that both forum type and case characteristics play a part in outcomes and compliance and that the question for future research "should be how and when these factors combine with one another." (See annotations McEwen and Maiman 1981, 1986; Vidmar 1984, 1985.)

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Wahrhaftig, Paul. 1981. Dispute Resolution Retrospective. Crime and Delinquency 27(1): 99-105.

Wahrhaftig analyzes the evolution of dispute resolution programs during the 1970s in an effort to respond to the question: are such programs a portent of genuine social change, or are they merely marketing a new social service? A key to answering this question is the ability of a program to look beyond the immediate individual problems presented in a conflict to broad, community-wide concerns. Of the three models of dispute resolution considered - court-annexed, agency-sponsored, and community-sponsored programs - the community-based model is considered to have the greatest potential for enabling social change.

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Wall, James A., Jr., and Michael Blum. 1991. Community Mediation in the People's Republic of China. Journal of Conflict Resolution 35(1): 3-20.

The authors have pieced together a detailed picture of the day-to-day community mediation in China, the most heavily mediated nation on earth. Interviews with one hundred community mediators provide the material for this case study. The authors' analysis of Chinese mediation is supported by a review of the relevant literature and discussions with several Chinese scholars, leaders and citizens. Wall and Blum endeavour to offer a detailed description of the mediation process, identify the techniques and strategies employed by Chinese mediators, and investigate the contingencies surrounding Chinese mediations. The authors discovered that Chinese mediation differs in many aspects from mediations in the United States. They conclude that the degree of difference may preclude a fruitful assimilation of Chinese approaches.

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Wall, James A., Jr., and Dale E. Rude. 1985. Judicial Mediation: Techniques, Strategies, and Situational Effects. Journal of Social Issues 41:47-63.

This study of judicial mediation focuses on four goals: identifying the specific techniques employed by judges in mediation; determining the effectiveness of each technique; identifying patterns of techniques; and ascertaining the contingencies under which judges utilize mediation. After identifying twenty-five most frequently used mediation techniques, questionnaires were mailed to 500 attorneys, 500 state judges and 500 federal trial judges, asking them to rate the effectiveness of each technique. Three styles of judicial mediation were identified: a logical style, an aggressive style, and a paternalistic style. While the logical approach was evaluated as the most effective, the authors found no correlation between the use of the different techniques or strategies and the outcome (settlement or non-settlement) of the case. Wall and Rude conclude that judges may draw on an extensive variety of techniques to mediate civil cases.

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Wall, James A., Jr., and Dale E. Rude. 1991. The Judge as a Mediator. Journal of Applied Psychology 76(1): 54-9.

The authors examine the effectiveness of judicial mediation. Two studies were conducted in which judges were asked to provide information regarding the number of mediation techniques used and the assertiveness of the techniques. The studies produced tentative evidence that the number of mediation techniques employed by a judge and the assertiveness of those techniques enhance the likelihood of out- of-court settlement. In conclusion, the data gathered by Wall and Rude support the judiciary's current emphasis on judicial mediation.

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Westermark, George D. 1991. Controlling Custom: Ideology and Pluralism in the Papua New Guinea Village Courts. Legal Studies Forum 15(2): 89-102.

The author's stated aim is to articulate the national and local ideologies of the Papua New Guinea village courts which have been in existence since the country's independence in 1975. The village courts form the primary level of the judicial system. The government intended to promote custom and to ensure the people's involvement in the legal system through the village courts. The author explores the paradox that in Papua New Guinea it is the government which is endeavouring to limit further extension of its powers while local groups are demanding increased state control.

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Whitson, Sarah Leah. 1992. `Neither Fish, Nor Flesh, Nor Good Red Herring' Lok Adalats: An Experiment in Informal Dispute Resolution in India. Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 15:391-445.

Whitson states that India's experiment with lok adalats (people's courts) has fallen short of its stated aims to indigenize the formal legal system inherited from Britain and to extend legal protection to the poor. The article examines the theoretical and practical development of lok adalats in the context of the history of legal aid and experimental legal systems in India. The author reviews the functioning of lok adalats and similar programs in four Indian states. Whitson concludes that India's experience with lok adalats validates critiques of similar Western experiments in informal justice.

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Williams, Janice. 1990. Community Justice Centres: Marking 10 Years of Service. Law Society Journal 28:48-52.

This article aims to assess the community justice centres in New South Wales with respect to their contribution to the resolution of disputes as well as to the continuing debate on dispute resolution. According to Williams, the community justice centres in New South Wales pioneered a model of mediation which has been successful in Australia. The author reports that state governments have been unwavering in their recognition and support of the valuable service offered by the centres.

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Wright, Martin, and Burt Galaway, eds. 1989. Mediation and Criminal Justice. London, Ontario: Sage Publications.

Mediation and Criminal Justice explores the extent to which mediation schemes achieve the aims of their proponents. The international experience of mediation is reviewed by contributors from North America, Western Europe and Japan. The work is arranged in three parts. Part I describes the origins and practice of victim-offender mediation. Part II is entitled "Mediation in Practice." The "Problems and Potential" of mediating victim-offender issues is examined in Part III.

The articles in this collection address the theoretical and practical problems associated with mediation and discuss the following questions: What are the actual benefits to offenders and victims? Do mediation schemes merely extend the compass of the criminal justice system? Wright suggests that civil and criminal disputes are different strands in a mosaic. Community justice programs are rooted in the efforts to design more effective processes of justice to respond to the victim-offender problem. (See annotation Peachey 1989.)

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Yngvesson, Barbara, and Patricia Hennessey. 1975. Small Claims, Complex Disputes: A Review of the Small Claims Literature. Law & Society Review 9:219-74.

Based on a review of the available literature, the authors come to the conclusion that although large business and government agencies do not dominate small claims courts, they are present in substantial numbers. These entities have a better chance of winning and collecting than do most individual plaintiffs. Studies also indicate that plaintiffs win at least seventy-four percent of cases going to judgement. In most courts, consumers are in the minority, but when they do bring suit they usually win. The authors indicate that if effectiveness is equated with providing a full and satisfactory hearing for all participants, the courts need to undergo a thorough revamping. Under proposals for reform, the authors note two studies that stress the importance of a mandatory mediation hearing presided over by a trained mediator who is not the adjudicator in the same case. While judges and lawyers are not excluded from this role, the studies indicate that the mediator should be able to relate to a wide range of people and be familiar with other possibilities for resolution.

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Young, Richard. 1989. Neighbour Dispute Mediation: Theory and Practice. Civil Justice Quarterly 8:319-28.

The author presents findings of a research study on the Sandwell Mediation Scheme, in operation since 1984. The study focused on neighbour disputes. Fifty-nine neighbours who had experienced mediation were interviewed regarding their expectations of mediation, the effectiveness of mediation, and their degree of commitment to the process. The mediators were local volunteers and on the whole were perceived as fair and neutral. In virtually every instance, however, the desire to get a conflict resolved was coupled with very low expectations of the process. Forty-seven out of the fifty-nine interviewees said the intervention of the scheme had no effect; they placed the blame for this on their neighbour rather than on the scheme itself. Young indicates, however, that too often the mediation process seemed to have languished after the initial contact. The other twelve interviewees reported that the scheme had reduced tension with neighbours, but three said this was very short-lived. The author concludes that the success of the project has been modest.

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Zehr, Howard, and Mark Umbreit. 1982. Victim Offender Reconciliation: An Incarceration Substitute? Federal Probation 46:63-8.

Victimization sets up a series of needs that are usually not met. The authors say this is a logical extension of a legal system which defines crime as an offense against the state. The victim experience can be ameliorated through Victim Offender Reconciliation Programs (VORP), which originated in Canada and have been pioneered in the United States through the joint efforts of Prisoners and Community Together (PACT) and the Mennonite Church. VORP is a simple process which combines conflict resolution techniques with the concept of restitution. With VORP, more than seventy-five percent of the agreed restitution is actually paid; this is much higher than the collection rate for court-ordered restitution. The authors believe that VORP can offer some practical benefits, but they caution that the most critical issue in organizing a VORP as an alternative to incarceration is found in establishing direct linkage between operation of the program and a measurable reduction in the incarceration of offenders referred to it.

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Author-Title Index

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Topical Index

Arbitration and award   |   Community-based corrections   |   Consumer complaints   |   Cross-cultural studies   |   Dispute resolution (Law) - Analysis   |   Dispute resolution (Law) - Models   |   Dispute resolution (Law) - Research   |   Family mediation   |   Intercultural communication   |   Judges - Mediation   |   Mediation - Analysis   |   Mediation-Evaluation   |   Mediation - Models   |   Mediation - Research   |   Neighbourhood Justice Centres - Analysis   |   Neighbourhood Justice Centres - Evaluation   |   Neighbourhood Justice Centres - Models   |   Small claims courts

Arbitration and Award

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Community-Based Corrections

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Consumer Complaints

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Cross-Cultural Studies

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Dispute Resolution (Law) - Analysis

Dispute Resolution (Law) - Models

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Dispute Resolution (Law) - Research

Family Mediation

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Intercultural communication

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Judges - Mediation

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Mediation - Analysis

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Mediation - Evaluation

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Mediation - Models

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Mediation - Research

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Neighbourhood Justice Centres - Analysis

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Neighbourhood Justice Centres - Evaluation

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Neighbourhood Justice Centres - Models

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Small Claims Courts



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Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding: A Selected Bibliography (formerly Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding: A Selected Bibliography). Copyright 1997-2008 Catherine Morris. All rights reserved.