n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Deciphering the language of mediatory intervention in South Africa

Volume 39, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Mediation has been introduced progressively into the South African legal system over the past two decades. A cause of great concern is the inconsistent use of the word 'mediation' in private practice and especially in the statutory provisions. The problem is propounded when the legislature uses the words 'mediation' and 'conciliation' in the same or in different statutory provisions. The use of consistent terminology is important as the basis for the training and accreditation of practitioners, ensuring compliance with standards of practice and possibly most important of all, as a means of educating the parties about the process in which they will be involved. In order to understand the various dimensions of the problem, the nature and scope of mediatory intervention is examined, with particular attention being given to the facilitative and evaluative models of mediation. With this as background, tentative recommendations are made in regard to the development of a definitive system of mediation language.

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