Volume 17, 2001
Communication, Conflict, and Reconciliation
Professional Ethics for Mediators
Tensions Between Justice and Accountability
In this paper, I examine the development and application of codes of ethics for alternative dispute resolution practitioners, specifically mediators. I discuss the
common vocabulary that one linds in model codes of conduct, and address the various dilemmas that arise for the "ethical" practitioner who wishes to model their practices on the standards found in such codes. I assert that some of the most intriguing and trenchant work on ethical dilemmas for mediators concerns the tension between accountability to participants, and aspirations to ensure just outcomes. The latter invokes norms pertaining to social justice in society at large. I suggest that it can be helplul to conceive of such dilemmas in terms of a contrast between obligations a rising from the "role" of an ADR prolessional and the "policy" dimensions of evaluating the impacts (intended and unintended) of the work of ADR professionals on society at large.