An important subject for mediators is how to distill from the various mediation ethics’ codes the essential principles that these codes have in common. Such codes – each with somewhat differing provisions – have been developed by the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, the Academy of Family Mediators (both of which combined with the Conflict Resolution Education Network, in 2001, to form the Association for Conflict Resolution), along with the American Bar Association, among others. The 10 principles outlined below are a compilation of what this author believes are commonly accepted mediation ethics principles.
This list, of necessity, oversimplifies the subject; a brief article cannot capture all of the nuances of ethical principles. The list borrows heavily from many writings in the field – indeed, the point of such a list is not originality but an attempt to discern the principles on which there is consensus. This list also is a work in process; principles and standards are evolving as the field of mediation matures.