What is mediation?

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Mediation is a form of conflict resolution in which all parties have the opportunity to present their views to an impartial third party who, through a purposeful, structured conversation process, makes a joint decision of the conflict possible. The purpose of this form of conflict resolution is to resolve a conflict by jointly finding a solution by interested parties. They need to find a way to communicate with each other in the future without help. In the process, skills must be developed through which future conflicts could be handled and resolved.

The main principles:


Personal responsibility



History of mediation

Mediation has existed for a long time and is present in one way or another in all cultures. We would even say that some of these cultures have had a mediating character. The so-called “Mediation committees” have existed in Japan and China for over a thousand years. The ancient philosopher Confucius shared and spread an attitude that bore a great resemblance to some elements of today’s mediation. Socrates advocated the so-called mayeutics, ie. the method by which ideas are “born”. According to him, knowledge is not the property of a higher authority but is “born” through joint efforts and reflection. Palaver is becoming an African conflict resolution method in which prominent people are participants in the conflict. Contarini, a Venetian, was explicitly listed as a “mediator” at the end of the Thirty Years’ War in the 1648 Peace Treaty after many years of practicing this method between the parties to the conflict. In 1803, after The Stecklikrieg civil war (“War of Sticks”), Napoleon Bonaparte signed the so-called “Act of Mediation” (French: Acte de Médiation). In the 20th century, the term mediation was officially used in the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The first Neighborhood Justice Centers were established in the 1970s. Since 1945, mediation has been enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations (also known as the UN Charter). In the 1980s, the concept of mediation began to take hold in Europe. It is reflected in many European laws.

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