MEDIATION LAW REGIMES IN EUROPE AND
THE UNITED STATES:
FROM "PATCHWORK" TO COHERENCE?
Siegfried H. Elsing
Alexandra N. Diehl*
Mediation is on the rise. Disputes once addressed almost
exclusively by the courts — be they commercial, criminal,
matrimonial or juvenile — are increasingly solved through mediation.
Mediation has long been an established feature of the
landscape of commercial dispute resolution in the United States of
America. The acceptance of mediation in the U.S.A. is reflected in
mediation statutes adopted by virtually every one of the fifty
states, the existence of the Uniform Mediation Act (hereinafter
"UMA" or "Act"),1 numerous court-annexed mediation programs,
and a vast array of mediation-related programs and literature.
Mediation is becoming increasingly important as a dispute
settlement method for civil and commercial conflicts in Europe as
well. England in particular has followed the example of the U.S.A
and has implemented regulations, most notably those in the Civil
Procedure Rules ("CPR"),2 which have helped to establish
mediation as an accepted item on the commercial dispute
Common law lawyers tend, as a general matter, to be more