SAVE THE DATE – Mediation-Sleeping Beauty Conference Series (SBCS)

ADR Center is proud to host Mediation – Sleeping Beauty Conference Series (SBCS), a not-for-profit awareness-raising project on mediation.

The SBCS is inspired by the upcoming 10th anniversary of the 2014 symposium of the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution which asked: Is Mediation a Sleeping Beauty?  Several questions were embedded in that question:  Is mediation sleeping?  Is it beautiful?  Who will awake it?  The symposium explored aspects of mediation that are beautiful, proven, and promising, making it logical that mediation would catch on.  Despite the promise of mediation, however, it remains comatose in most countries, while adjudicative processes such as litigation and arbitration remain dominant.  

In the keynote speech at the 2014 symposium, Professor De Palo proposed a mediation model to wake Sleeping Beauty. That model – originally presented in the European Parliament study titled Rebooting the EU Mediation Directive – requires litigants to make reasonable initial efforts at mediation. De Palo’s proposal, called the “easy opt-out” model, requires litigants, in appropriate cases, to participate in an initial meeting with a mediator. Mediation remains voluntary because only an early exploratory meeting is mandated–not full engagement. This model has generated growing mediation markets in countries with different legal systems and cultures. As mediation services become more widely used in these countries, training and quality become of paramount importance so that citizens, businesses, and public institutions can benefit fully from mediation. 

Building on the 2014 event, Professor Giuseppe De Palo (ADR Center) and Professor Lela Love (Cardozo Law School) are organizing a series of international conferences addressing the issue of why mediation is still used so rarely, despite its great potential to help resolve disputes efficiently, effectively and collaboratively.

SBCS will travel across the globe to compare different mediation models and their results and conclude in New York City in 2024 with a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the initial event. Each SBCS event will offer policy-makers, judges, lawyers, and the mediation community, an ideal forum to discuss evidence-based new policies capable of making mediation the natural first step when direct settlement negotiations fail.

SBCS is part of a global initiative building on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for a Sustainable Development, which includes ensuring “Access to Justice for All” as part of achieving “Peaceful and Inclusive Societies”. 


Below are the dates of the confirmed 2022 events and of those soon to be confirmed. Check back soon to download the full program of each event.

  • Mexico City, Mexico: September 20, 2022
  • Istanbul, Turkey: early October 2022*
  • Trento, Italy: November 2022


Articles, which follow, published by presenters at the 2014 symposium can be found at: and are listed below. 

Giuseppe De Palo & Romina Canessa Sleeping? Comatose? Only Mandatory Consideration of Mediation Can Awake Sleeping Beauty in the European Union, 16 Cardozo J. of Conflict Resolution 713 (2015).

Jacqueline Nolan-Haley, Mediation: The Best and Worst of Times, 16 Cardozo J. of Conflict Resolution 731 (2015).

Robert A. Baruch Bush & Joseph P. Folger, Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination,16 Cardozo J. of Conflict Resolution 741 (2015).

Kimberlee K. Kovach, The Mediation Coma: Purposeful or Problematic, 16 Cardozo J. of Conflict Resolution 755 (2015).

James R. Coben, Barnacles, Aristocracy and Truth Denial: Three not so Beautiful Aspects of Contemporary Mediation, 16 Cardozo J. of Conflict Resolution 779 (2015).

Joseph B. Stulberg, Mediator Misunderstanding of Bargaining Basics: Heading in an Ugly Direction, 16 Cardozo J. of Conflict Resolution  807 (2015).

Eric R. Galton, The Mediation Witches, 16 Cardozo J. of Conflict Resolution 825 (2015).

Donna Erez-Navot, The Repeat Player Effect in Child Protection Mediation: Dangers of and Protections Against Second-Class Justice for Marginalized Parties, 16 Cardozo J. of Conflict Resolution 831 (2015).

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