We don’t always think of Russia as a nation with a strong emphasis on enlightened dispute resolution processes or a desire to craft conflict resolution procedures that embody respect and equality for participants. So, a recent online article in “The Voice of Russia” caught my eye.
According to the July 30, 2010 article, a new law creates “a basically new institution, namely mediation, as well as a new profession, – a reconciliation expert. Experts feel that mediation will be able to drastically change for the better the performance of courts and improve Russia’s moral environment. Special-purpose mediators will help the parties to a conflict thrash out their differences and forget about their problems. Experts also believe that the law on mediation will relieve the courts of a great many cases and enable them to concentrate on really involved matters. Reconciliation experts will certainly prove much in demand in divorce suits, as well as in labour disputes.”
There may be some unintended changes in the translation, but it is interesting to read the idea that mediation could “improve Russia’s moral environment.” Mediation’s benefits are many, and its boosters are not shy in naming them, but this idea may be a first.