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<xTITLE>International and Comparative Mediation: Legal Perspectives (Book Review)</xTITLE>

International and Comparative Mediation: Legal Perspectives (Book Review)

by Michael Leathes
September 2010 Michael Leathes
International and Comparative Mediation: Legal Perspectives

By Nadja Alexander

What marks this book out as exceptional, valuable, inspiring and even myth-busting is its contemporary focus on the legal and regulatory issues surrounding the practice of mediation - in civil and common law jurisdictions and also at a transnational level - and the engaging way it is written and presented.

Although mediation is often simplistically considered as a private, extra-judicial process, with not a lot of legal implications, Prof Alexander has pulled together a neatly sectioned commentary on the practical legal issues that mediation professionals and party representatives need to consider. Because the book is written by a practitioner/educator with extensive experience internationally, the pages are full of comparisons between countries and practices. Chapters include the relationship between law, regulation and mediation; mediator selection and referral to mediation; mediation clauses and agreements to mediate; the legal aspects of how mediators and parties conduct themselves; confidentiality; and various important post-mediation matters such as the enforceability of settlements. Two entire chapters are devoted to the UNCITRAL Model Law, including an insightful interview with Jernej Sekolec, the former Secretary of UNCITRAL. Appendix C contains a clever and succinct analysis of the adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law by other countries on an article-by-article basis. The brevity of the comparative table belies the depth of information contained in these pages.

Finally, Appendix B is worthy of close examination by all practitioners selecting appropriate mediation rules for international dispute resolution clauses. Institutional rules from around the world are not merely reproduced here; they are compared according to topics such as confidentiality, admissibility of mediation evidence, enforceability of mediated outcome and so on.

Prof Alexander has a relaxed, short sentence style of presenting information and ideas, making the book equally relevant to lawyers and non-lawyers, and has not withheld her own thoughts on how things could be improved. This is a really important contribution to the development of mediation throughout the world.

Biography


Michael Leathes is a former in-house counsel and in that capacity a frequent user of mediation services. After retiring in 2007, Michael helped establish the International Mediation Institute (IMI) as a charitable institution and served in a pro bono capacity as the first Executive Director of the IMI. He stepped down from the IMI Board in 2015. Michael is the author of Negotiation: Things corporate counsel need to know but were not taught (Wolters Kluwer, 2017). 



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