Deborah Lynn Zutter Deborah Lynn Zutter
Helping you get on with your life

Checklist 3 - Public Interest Mediation Suitability

Some disputes involve criminal activities, children in need of protection or misdeeds by professionals.  The public has an interest in how these disputes are resolved.  Consequently, the issue of whether mediation is suitable is more complex than most other disputes.  This Checklist focuses on the special issues that arise when considering whether mediation is appropriate in conflicts where the public has an interest.

1. Suitable for mediation
  • Are there any aspects of the dispute that render it unsuitable for mediation? (See Checklist #2)
2. Consistent with the public interest
  • Can the anticipated outcome of the dispute resolution process also serve the public interest, or are they inconsistent?
  • How serious was the crime, the child protection incident, or the misconduct?
  • What message does mediating this dispute give to the public, to the offender, or other offenders?
3. Complainant
  • In criminal and professional misconduct disputes is the complainant:
  • amenable to mediation?
  • motionally ready and able to participate?
4. Alleged Wrongdoer & Parents
  • Is the alleged wrongdoer amenable?
  • Has the alleged wrongdoer acknowledged the acts in question?
  • Is he or she emotionally ready and able to participate?
  • What is his or her motivation for participating in mediation?
  • In child protections disputes, are the parents willing to participate?
5. Considerations when designing the mediation
  • Is it possible to design the mediation so that there is no risk of the victim being re-victimized at the mediation?
  • Are there other aspects of the design of the mediation that are critical to its suitability?
  • Should the professional complaints officer, the investigating police officer, or the social worker be the mediator or come to the mediation as a participant?
  • Are there other members of the larger community whose participation would enhance the mediation as well as the outcome?

To purchase any of Deb's Books please contact us directly at or 604-219-2259

Divorce Mediation (Book)

Listen To Deb Being Interviewed About Mediation:


"Preparing for Mediation and its checklists would be an excellent resource for any mediator or service provider."

Wayne Hopwood, formerly with Canadian Dispute Resolution Company

Contact Deb

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