Source: (2008) Buffalo Law Review. 55(4): 1261-1330.

In this article, we examine the implementation of mediation in domestic violence cases in Nicaragua as a case study of the transnational movement of alternative conflict resolution through rule-of-law reforms across the world. Unlike scholarship about mediation in the United States, the effects of mediation’s global implementation are undertheorized. This article examines the importation of U.S. style mediation and its implementation in domestic violence situations in developing countries such as Nicaragua where traditional legal systems are weaker than those institutionalized in the United States. In particular, we evaluate mediation as applied in Mulukukú, an isolated community in the rural north central part of the country. We reflect upon the community motivations and external influences bringing mediation to Mulukukú. We analyze these issues in order to foster a better understanding of how such a community can more effectively own and implement its dispute resolution processes. We argue in this article that Mulukukú’s mediation experience suffers from many pitfalls both in its conception and as implemented. At the same time, we believe that the model may provide a vehicle that can incorporate the community’s already-existing informal mediation methods. We, therefore, offer insights gleaned from the experiences of domestic violence victim advocates in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Principally, we aim to inform Nicaraguans about how best to own and adapt mediation to their cultural and societal needs. This exploration is particularly timely given the increasing skepticism of the transformation claims surrounding mediation and the growing realization in Nicaragua that mediation in domestic violence cases carries potential dangers to victims. (Author's abstract)