books on a book shelf - history of mediation concept

A Glance At The History Of Mediation

Mediation has been a part of human interaction and has since evolved alongside our civilization. In the field of law, mediation has positioned itself as a comprehensive conflict resolution tool between a neutral party and two conflicting parties. The neutral party being the mediator whose function is to settle the differences between the parties in conflict. As a provider of civil mediation services, Schuering Mediation is looking to build upon the foundation that history has cemented for civil mediation. Today, we will be taking a glance at the history of mediation.

The Early History Of Mediation

Before we utilized civil mediation services like we do today, it was once used and viewed in a completely different lens when looking back at its origins. The history of mediation goes back to Ancient Greece. During this time, village elders used to mediate local disputes between the villagers. Even though the practice developed in Greece, it would gradually become embedded in Roman civilization as well. The Romans called by mediators by many names, including Internuncius, Medium, Intercessor, Philanthropist, Interpolator, Conciliatory, Interlocutor, Interpres, and eventually, Mediator was the term that stuck.

Following the war that was waged against Rome, The Kushites sent mediators to Augustus and in the year 21/20 BC, a peace treaty was drafted. Several years later and now civil mediation services are a form of a professional service, and mediators are professionally trained for the job. In the UK, mediation has been on the rise since the passage of the Children And Families Act 2014. This is because the act made it compulsory for separating couples to go through a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) before going through a hearing in the court.

The Types Of Mediation

Mediation can be classified in many ways, but it mainly depends on the types of conflicts that are occurring. The types of mediation are as follows:

  • Family Mediation
  • Civil & Commercial Mediation
  • Workplace Mediation
  • Community Mediation

The Inception Of The Civil Mediation Program

The Civil Mediation program was designed by a joint court-bar working committee. This committee was made up of judges, lawyers, and court management staff, who spent a full year studying how to best integrate an effective and efficient alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method into the current differentiated case management system (DCM). The committee members recognized that many circuit court cases are settled, but that many others won’t be settled until the last few weeks prior to the start of a trial.

They were seeking an ADR method that would assist parties in settling their disputes at a much earlier stage in the process, which would reduce the costs and anxiety on the parties in preparing a trial that likely won’t occur. As a result, the committee members identified earlier resolutions of the disputes as a primary goal of any effective ADR program that would be used by the court. Additional goals that the committee identified included the following elements:

  • Improvement in trial date certainty of all circuit court cases
  • A manageable workload for the Settlement Court judges, who hosted conferences in about 1600 cases per year, prior to the development of the mediation program.
  • Reduction in the court’s workload in preparing for case litigation
  • Enhancing the parties’ satisfaction with the dispute resolution process, by allowing them more participation and greater control in resolving cases.

Based on this, the committee was able to come to the consensus that mediation, because of its emphasis on problem-solving and resolving disputes in a mutually beneficial manner, would be the best ADR method for achieving the goals that the committee put forth.

Provider Of Professional Civil Mediation Services

We hope that you gathered some valuable insight on the impact of mediation throughout the years. Schuering Mediation is more than happy to provide civil mediation services for clients that are desperate to resolve their disputes. To learn more about how we can be of better assistance, contact us today!

Contact Judge Mark A. Schuering (Ret.)

Please see the Contact Page for complete contact details.  Thank you for visiting.


(217) 257-6662