Currently on Outside Studies Program, Lola Akin Ojelabi has spent six weeks in California talking to alternative dispute resolution practitioners about issues of justice and quality in mediation practice. The research replicates a similar research conducted in Australia with the goals of:
- Examining similarities and differences in approaches to ethical and practice issues between US (Californian) and Australian mediators;
- Generating discussion within the mediation sector and among policy and law makers on how best to address justice issues in mediation practice;
- Harnessing the wisdom of experienced mediation practitioners on issues of justice, using different scenarios which mediators deal with in practice.
While in California, Lola interviewed 20 experienced mediators, including retired judges, non-lawyer mediators and attorneys. She gave a short presentation on her research at the Orange County Mediation Conference held on 20 March 2015, presented a Faculty seminar at the Thomas Jefferson Law School, San Diego and a professional development seminar on mediation ethics to a group of mediators in Los Angeles (Mediation Study Club).
Back in Melbourne, Lola (with Prof Mary Anne Noone) will be presenting professional development sessions on mediation ethics at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and organising a symposium on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Ethics for Practitioners to be held at the La Trobe City Campus on 19 June 2015. This symposium brings together ADR academics and practitioners to further discuss ethical issues that arise in ADR practice and approaches to addressing them. For further information on the symposium, you may contact Lola via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding for the research and symposium has been provided by the RFA Transforming Human Societies, the Rights and Justice for Sustainable Communities Research Program at La Trobe Law School and the La Trobe Outside Studies Grant Program.