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NCJ Number: 98565 Find in a Library
Title: Crossing the Legislative Barrier - State Legislation and the Implementation of Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution (From Study of Barriers to the Use of Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution, P 188-218, 1984 - See NCJ-97339)
Author(s): R A Miller
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: Vermont Law School
South Royalton, VT 05068
Sale Source: Vermont Law School
Dispute Resolution Project
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: State legislation implementing the process of mediation is examined, limitations of existing legislation are considered, and the need for such legislation is discussed.
Abstract: The 1976 Pound Conference served as the manifesto of the dispute resolution movement and provided its proponents with the necessary intellectual recognition and background. An outgrowth of the conference was research into community mediation efforts based on the neighborhood justice center model. In 1980, the Dispute Resolution Act provided Federal recognition and a source of funding for nonjudicial alternatives. By mid-1983, 20 States had adopted or proposed legislation implementing alternative dispute resolution procedures. State legislation can be categorized into four basic types. Comprehensive dispute resolution acts seek to resolve all envisioned program problems into one all-encompassing statute. The legal issues approach ignores funding. The funding approach, as enacted by the Texas Legislature, leaves legal issues to the county courts. Problem-specific legislation (divorce and child custody, for example) affects only the specified topics of dispute. Each type of act is limited in certain ways by the approach it takes. The most common limitations include a strings-attached approach, a tendency to tie programs to the court system directly or indirectly, a confusion of goals, and provisions which apply only to those programs and mediators that satisfy the criteria of the acts. Issues which can and should be addressed by implementing legislation in the future include legitimization of the process, confidentiality, training and licensing, and funding. Footnotes and references are included.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Mediation; Neighborhood justice centers; State laws
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