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Alternative dispute resolution and non-adversarial regulation: why are they still not mainstream and can they ever become mainstream?

Sarre, Rick
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Paper presented at the Reconciliation: Conversations Beyond Cultural Boundaries conference, held in Adelaide, South Australia, 29 November -December 1. Adelaide, South Australia: University of South Australia, Asia Pacific Mediation Forum. Downloaded 3 August 2004.

Beginning with the observation that law is a discipline that is highly resistant to change, Rick Sarre points to the common and long-held legal perspective that justice is more likely to be done if a person has his or her day in court. This view is increasingly being challenged by advocates of alternatives to adversarial formality. Such alternatives include, for example, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), family group conferencing, interest-based mediation, court-ordered conciliation conferences, restorative justice, and more. In view of all of this, Sarre explores why the formal adversarial approach persists and the prospects for significant change in the direction of alternative approaches to settling conflicts and addressing wrongdoing.


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