Mediation provides an effective and non-adversarial form of dispute resolution which is now recognised and promoted within the UK justice system. Working on the Open Justice mediation project gives students the chance to undertake training in civil and community mediation. They have the opportunity to understand how mediation skills, typically used in a face-to-face context, can be adapted to enable mediation in an online context. The pandemic has led to a significant rise in online mediation which is set to continue now that the restrictions are lifting. This training is a significant part of the project and compromises most of the tasks students undertake whilst working in the project. At the end of the project students apply the skills they have developed as a mediator in a mock online mediation. This projects provide students with valuable negotiation skills which can be applied in many aspects of life.
in 2020, as well as undertaking a variety of role play exercises, student groups drafted an information leaflet introducing their mediation services to potential clients. During the pandemic, online mediation was the default option and students reflected on its advantages and disadvantages over in person mediation at the end of the project. Below are some examples of these leaflets.
A student blog on the Mediation Project is available here
Quotes from students who have been involved in recent mediation activities.
I have learnt that what could be seen as the traditional route through the legal process, is not obtainable or viable for all situations, therefore, mediation as a form of ADR can be a route to obtain social justice.
Participating in the pro bono mediation open justice activities has given me the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and values.
The mediation training was brilliant and gave me the skills to competently mediate a dispute between two fictional clients.