CFS: Family Mediation

Journal of Family Studies special issue: Mediating Family Disputes

Deadline for Papers: 15th July 2011

‘Family mediation’ has many names and many definitions. Different family mediation processes tend to reflect different national, cultural and professional assumptions and starting points. Thus some family mediators seek to address ‘frozen’ and unproductive narratives; some are guided primarily by legally established norms; some strive to be as ‘content free’ as possible; and some see the process as therapeutic, even transformative in its aims. Mediation services for families continue to attract much criticism and much enthusiasm. Debate continues around issues such as: the extent to which procedures should be mandatory, the risks associated with the relatively private nature of the process, the qualifications needed by mediators, the range of issues that are ‘mediatable’, the measurement of success, and the place of children in the process. In Australia, the introduction of a default position of mandatory family dispute resolution (FDR) as part of the 2006 family law reforms, and more recent announcements of Government’s intention to expand mandatory FDR into the area of financial disputes, heightens the need for ongoing rigorous analysis of and discussion about these processes.

Journal of Family Studies will publish a special issue in this area and is seeking papers from inside and outside Australia that have a sound empirical base or contain a rigorous analysis of one or more of the key issues raised by family mediation generally and mandatory family mediation in particular. It is anticipated that one or two practice-oriented pieces will also be accepted. For information contact the assistant editor, Liz Morrison: L.Morrison@latrobe.edu.au . Papers should be prepared according to the journal’s Author Guidelines .

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