Source: (1999) Alberta, Canada: Canadian Forum on Civil Justice.

Human rights commissions may promote “interest-basedâ€? mediation to expand their dispute resolution processes. Some have criticized such informal dispute resolutions, as against more formal processes, when the public interest is at stake. Parker responds in this paper by questioning the invocation of the “public interestâ€? in many cases, and the assumption that the public interest is better protected by more formal processes. She urges the blending of informal processes such as mediation and formal adjudication for systemic or “public interestâ€? issues. In this regard, Parker discusses the idea of “public interestâ€? in relation to human rights disputes, the dispute resolution goals of the British Columbia Human Rights Commission, and aspects of the mediation process that may interfere with protection of the public interest. Her paper uses a case example to analyze when a human rights dispute should involve the public interest.

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