2 The Constituent Elements of Mediation

The definition of mediation remains incomplete if no attention is paid to the specific criteria that give it its unity independently of the social lines of business in which it is employed. In a mediation process, several elements come into play: a “third party” is involved in a mediating “relationship” among “subjects”. The two parties involved acknowledge the authority of the third party.

2.1. The third party

The “third party” element is one of the core and fundamental characteristics of mediation. In simple terms, it is the third person who intervenes in a relation or transaction between two individuals. Placing oneself in the social order as a third party means simultaneously being in an arbitrating position as well as in a dynamic position of negotiation and mediation. The definition of mediation spells out that a third party must have specific qualities – impartiality, neutrality and independence – in order to set off an actually tripartite process.

Thus, we will see how the idea of third parties can be defined. What is their function? Why are third parties required?

2.1.1. From the word to the concept

The first article of the Code of Deontology, created by the National Association of Mediators, defines the object of mediation as follows:

“Mediation, whether legal or conventional, is a structured process which relies on the responsibility and autonomy of those involved, and voluntarily, with the help of a neutral, impartial, ...

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