Early mediation means better results Singapore academics report

by Steve Randall09 Aug 2018

Academics in Singapore have identified three crucial factors that influence the chances of success for cases sent to mediation.

The Singapore Management University study found that the courts should consider the timing of referral, the stage of litigation and the level of contentiousness between disputants when deciding whether or not to refer civil disputes to mediation.

Led by Assistant Professors Dorcas Quek Anderson and Eunice Chua of the SMU School of Law and funded by the Singapore Judicial College, the study notes that there is a lack of consensus globally as to the right time or stage that a case should be considered for mediation.

They found that delaying mediation by one month means a 3% decline in the likelihood of a settlement. Opting for mediation at the closing of pleadings, not during later stages, also increased the chance of a successful outcome.

Other factors that affect the success of mediation include a lower quantum of the claim, as well as features of the mediation process itself, such as the time taken to complete the mediation and whether the mediator is legally trained, the study found.

The study was published in the spring 2018 edition of Harvard Negotiation Law Review.

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