Towards more sustainable dispute resolution in courts: empirical study on challenges of the court-connected mediation in Lithuania
Court-connected mediation designed to foster more sustainable dispute resolution practices in Lithuania was launched in 2005. The article is an elaboration on Lithuania’s experiences relating to court-connected mediation in the realm of civil justice. It investigates the problem of the so called “plateau”, when the number of mediated cases stops to grow, thus raising the question of what is the future of court-connected mediation in general. Authors present the main features of the Lithuanian court-connected mediation model and stages of its formation. The autors strive to provide a better understanding of the possible causes for the problem under consideration, as well as underlying assumptions associated with sustainable dispute resolution practices in courts. Next, the results of the original quantitative and qualitative empirical survey dedicated to the analyzed problem and performed by the authors in the beginning of 2021 are presented. The research is supplemented by data from Poland, which presents a fracture of the problems related to court-connected mediation in Eastern Europe. Poland’s perspective provides a glance into another legal system, which chose a different model of court-connected mediation without the direct involvement of judges as mediators. Still, the data from Poland shows the tendency of a steady influx of mediated cases. The article ends with a discussion, conclussions and recommendations on the causes and consequences of mediation stagnation in the process of developing a court-mediation and, possibly, mediation in general. The paper is dedicated to dispute resolution experts, both practitioners and scientists, who are interested in Eastern European experiences and problems associated with the development of mediatiaton.
court-connected mediation, judge as a mediator, dispute resolution, mediation "plateau", stagnation, empirical research
K15 , K41 , Q01
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