Aura Esther Vilalta, Senior Lecturer in Civil Law at the University of Oberta Cataluña, has written “Decalogue of Good Practices for Electronic Mediation,” Emedeu Project Edition, Forthcoming. In her publication, Ms. Vilalta offers a variety of recommendations that may help practitioners appropriately manage online mediation services.
Here is the abstract:
Recently, many entities specialising in alternative dispute resolution have incorporated information and communication technologies (ICT’s) into their activity while at the same time others have burst into the justice system offering alternative resolution systems that are completely on-line. Based on the analysis of the existing stock of practices and cases, it becomes apparent that there are certain directives that all on-line mediators should apply in order to ensure that all procedures are carried out efficiently and successfully, as these indicators are closely tied to quality.
One can identify ten standards of conduct which are essential in order to ensure appropriate management of mediation procedures when these are implemented by means of electronic devices:
(i) communication using a slightly formal tone and appropriate response during conversation between experts and parties (feedback).
(ii) concise and clear communication, whether asynchronous or real time.
(iii) Intense, active listening adapted to the electronic environment.
(iv) Mastery of ICT tools.
(v) Transparency with regard to the mediator, the institution and procedures;
(vi) Technological equality;
(vii) Ease of application of the procedures -user-friendly, in other words, intuitive, simple and above all brief;
(viii) Mastery of information management
(ix) Appropriate use of suitable iconographic symbols and other elements that transmit emotional meaning to the texts;
(x) And a clear separation of environments/professional and personal moments.