Current challenges of family mediation in Estonia

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Series Details Volume 27, Number 1, Pages 109-120
Publication Date February 2019
ISSN 1478-2790
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Abstract :

Official reports and studies have shown that the formal institutionalization of Family Mediation in Estonia by way of implementation of the Mediation Directive has not resulted in a meaningful increase in the use of this method, or raised awareness on the benefits of ADR in the administration of civil matters.

This paper identifies and addresses shortcomings that could be attributed to legal gaps, inconsistencies, and/or terminological deficiencies, with a focus on Family mediation. It also expands the discussion from the restrictive domain of legislative development toward more informal institutionalization processes to inform and complement the formulation of regulatory strategies. In principle, the Estonian legal framework does not prevent progress in terms of general awareness, understanding and professionalization.

However, the system lacks commitment and creates no incentives for mediation and other ADR methods to become more widely adopted. Further and more interdisciplinary research with a focus on human competences could study the population’s reluctance to embrace less adversarial conflict management techniques. Moreover, a weak mediation scheme calls for a more responsive approach that could help disseminate the practice while upgrading the application of the existing laws.

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