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Revisiting people’s mediation in China: practice, performance and challenges.

Zhang, Hongwei
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) Restorative Justice. 1(2):244-267.

In China, the term ‘people’s mediation’ generally refers to folk mediation sponsored by people’s mediation committees, in which parties to disputes are brought together for conciliation, based on the laws and norms of social morality. The goal of people’s mediation is to promote mutual understanding in order to reach voluntary agreements to settle disputes and realise a harmonious society. People’s mediation was born of Maoist resistance to feudal Chinese forms of mediation, although it is infused with Confucian values which were initially rejected and only recently revived by the Communist Party. Because of its popularity, this form of mediation has attracted much attention from academics, practitioners and policymakers alike. After exploring its cultural context and historical evolution, this paper revisits existing literature and relevant laws on people’s mediation and summarises certain components of people’s mediation, including its cultural value, historical origin, legal principles, practices, and challenges. (author’s abstract)


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