In the less than three years since its began, the Institute has worked with judges, mediators and academics from over 20 countries- from Bhutan and Egypt to Cameron, Singapore, Turkey, Brazil, Italy, Russia and South Africa. Both established and emergent mediation leaders come together to learn of and to share best ADR practices.
This work is enlivened and complemented by the Center’s new but already robust on-the-ground international efforts. This year we have provided technical assistance to a court in China, presented and conducted site visits in Singapore and Hong Kong, provided mediation training in Spain, assisted with an ABA/UN review of draft mediation legislation for Egypt, and provided in-country training for an emerging Mediation Clinic in a rural law school in Haiti.
We hope and believe that this is paving the way for mediators, attorneys, judges, and law professors from around the world to build ADR capacity by harnessing their own expertise and considerable enthusiasm to advance both dispute resolution and the rule of law.
The bittersweet irony is that while our global counterparts look to learn from model US and Northern California ADR programs, those very programs are suffering deep and, in some cases, fatal cutbacks and staff layoffs. Perhaps in the civil ADR arena knowledgeable counsel, technology and the private sector can take up some of the slack. We have done and can do better than that- just ask our global neighbors.