Brazilian Journal for Alternative Dispute Resolution – RBADR, Issue 9



When the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) was invited to put together a series of papers on the mediation scene across Asia, we saw it as an opportunity to present to a global readership, a panoramic snapshot of the state of mediation in Asia. These series of papers present mediation “as-is” in respect of each jurisdiction, ranging from those with far-developed mediation eco-systems to those where the use of mediation is still at a nascent stage.

From the outset, we did not feel that we would be able to add much to the large number of academic papers already published on mediation, nor were we best qualified to do so. However, as a major mediation service provider to an international clientele, we work hand-in-hand with many mediation practitioners in various countries who are well placed to present mediation from their viewpoint as practitioners. We therefore sought their collaboration, to present mediation from a ground-level perspective in their respective jurisdictions. As such, the primary focus of these series of papers is not on mediation concepts or principles but on the current state of mediation in each jurisdiction, as seen through the eyes of these practitioners.

Working with mediation practitioners as opposed to academic scholars on a project of this nature poses its own unique characteristics and challenges. Professionals in the academic field are accustomed to living under the yoke of a “publish or perish” mandate. Industry practitioners are under no such pressure. On the contrary, writing papers of such nature imposes a strain on the time they have to devote to their daily professional responsibilities to their constituents. As a result, managing their compliance to set publication milestones and deadlines, can be challenging. A few practitioners slated to write papers for their jurisdictions, had expressed strong enthusiasm to contribute to the project, but eventually, had to regretfully withdraw their participation due to work commitments or other reasons. This is however, par for the course in a project of this nature.

While some suggestions were given to the mediation practitioners on the topics that they might consider covering in their contributions to this edition of the Journal, they each had their own perception of what the most essential aspects of mediation that they should focus on were in relation to their respective jurisdictions. Given that they are closer to the on-the-ground pulse of mediation in their respective jurisdictions, we did not think it appropriate to insist that they fit their contribution into any prescribed, straight-jacketed format. They were therefore given essentially a free rein in this respect and to adopt their own styles of presentation, which are inevitably nuanced by their different cultural backgrounds. Hence readers will find that the scope, focus and style of presentation in each paper varies.

Nevertheless, despite these challenges, through sheer dogged persistence and the good-spirited endeavour on the part of all the contributing practitioners, we managed to cobble together this series of papers. As I read the papers, I certainly found them enriching my understanding of mediation as practised in these various jurisdictions and I hope the readers will similarly find them enlightening and useful. Most of all, I have enjoyed my interactions with the various practitioners who have contributed these papers and wish to use this opportunity to thank them for their generous participation in this project.



About the writer

Benatt Lee is the guest editor for Revista Brasileira de Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is currently the Registrar of SIMC. He brings a multi-disciplinary perspective to the role from his diverse training and experience. Read his bio here.