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

Mediation has been touted by many as a preferred alternative to formal juridical proceedings. According to the authors, this means that mediation has not been adequately studied for its strengths and weaknesses, particularly with regard to the potential for mediation to exacerbate rather than minimize power imbalances. Hence, Viswanathan and Ptak examine power issues in mediation by looking at a conflict resolution service at Saint Stephen’s Community House – a community mediation center in Toronto. Their paper covers a brief theoretical review of power and neutrality, neutrality in relation to the policy at Saint Stephen’s, an analysis of the mediation process, and discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of mediation at Saint Stephen’s in relation to power issues.

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