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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 35 No 1 (2017) Ethics in Alternative Dispute Resolution

ADR Processes: Connections Between Purpose, Values, Ethics and Justice

Lola Akin Ojelabi is a Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University School of Law.

Mary Anne Noone is a Professor at La Trobe University School of Law.

ADR processes are now used extensively in Australia to resolve disputes in courts and tribunals. In addition, government departments see ADR as an important tool in improving access to justice for ordinary citizens. However, what justice means in different ADR contexts may differ. One possible explanation for the divergence of views on justice and ethics in ADR practice is the fact that practitioners come from different professional backgrounds and disciplines and also use a range of processes. Also, while some processes have clearly stated normative purposes under enabling legislation and Charters, others do not. There are also industry-scheme ADR processes with norma- tive purposes beyond individual disputes. Drawing from empirical research, this paper begins to explore the relationship between process purpose, underlying values and ethical responsibilities that arise for a range of ADR practitioners working in different fields and the potential of those processes to promote substantive and procedural justice.

(2017) 35(1) Law in Context p5

   
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