Against the backdrop of diverse social and cultural backgrounds, this article explores how the mediation process works in family disputes in New Zealand. It explores how mediation has been incorporated into the family law litigation process, and shows how it can promote cooperation and fairness between the disputants.
Traditional legal techniques for resolving family conflicts have consisted of either negotiation or adjudication. This system, however, is seen to have minimized the importance of negotiation and exaggerated the importance of adjudication. There is substance to the criticism that lawyers have not fully explored other alternatives to adjudication such as conciliation, mediation, and arbitration. These alternative techniques have become “popular justice” in many jurisdictions around the world.