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From «Access to Justice» to «Obstacles to Justice»? Practical Learning of Judicial Mediation in China

Yedan Li, PhD, 
Researcher at the Department of Sociology 
of Bielefeld University (Germany) 

 DOI: 10.24031/2226-0781-2017-7-1-172-196 

The literature on Alternative Dispute Resolution has already normatively argued for the general advantages of courts’ providing mediation services. However, courts’ involvement in mediation cannot always be justified by those advantages, unless (1) the mediation process is a consensual procedure based on party autonomy, and (2) where the initiation is mandatory, the courts’ allocation of cases is justified both by the public interest and a case selection system. In this context, this article empirically tests whether the established arguments as derived from ADR theory can be applied to justify all Chinese court-annexed mediation practices. This study provides a negative answer, owing to the fact that some Chinese court-annexed mediation practices found in the fieldwork aim mainly at clearing dockets and achieving case management for the courts’ organisational interests. Offsetting the advantages, those Chinese court-annexed mediation practices prevent disputants from gaining access to the official adjudication procedure. The author gives a theoretical review, and also provides the statistics, courts materials and data of the interviews. 


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Information about the author 

Yedan Li (Bielefeld, Germany) – PhD, Researcher at the Department of Sociology of Bielefeld University (Universitätsstraße 25, 33615 Bielefeld; e-mail: liyedan1@ gmail.com). 

Recommended citation 

Yedan Li. From «Access to Justice» to «Obstacles to Justice»? Practical Learning of Judicial Mediation in China. Vestnik grazhdanskogo protsessa = Herald of Civil Procedure, 2017, no. 1, p. 172–196. (In Russian) DOI: 10.24031/2226-0781-2017-7-1-172-196

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Yedan Li