Art of Cultural Mediation by Abbas Hadjian title image

The art of cultural mediation

The Art of Cultural Mediation is part of Abbas Hadjian’s Culturally Speaking column in The Daily Journal.

by Abbas Hadjian, CFLS, AAML, IAFL, Family Law Attorney and Founder of Cultural Competency in Family Law Practice

In the art of Cultural Mediation, the acronym OTHER provides a guideline of considerations required to successfully mediate cultural disputes in a traditional setting. While mediating legal disputes almost universally requires understanding the four basics of Duty, Breach, Defense, and Damage – in Cultural Mediations the basic concepts do not address the scope of understanding required.

In civil actions, duty is created by laws or agreements. In cultural mediations, duties are rooted in culture. An effective cultural mediator must understand the cultural factors which rule the lives and motivations of litigants.

O – Opinion represents that attitudes, perceptions and emotions which can influence cultural mediations, and requires the mediator to practice impartiality with careful attention to how an expression of empathy towards one party may be perceived by the other.

T – Tradition means that practices which are legally permissible may be culturally unacceptable. 

H – Health can mean mental state, and often implies that an unhealthy state of mind may lead to unhealthy, injuries actions.

E – Education in cultural mediation is the excellent guidance of a culturally aware mediator who understands the values, practices and perceptions of cultural clients.

R – Religion in many cultures is the source of justice and self-identity.

The Culturally Speaking column provides a step-by-step blueprint for more tolerable and lasting cultural divorces. It benefits partially from more than five decades of studies by its author in two legal systems.

Hadjian, Abbas. (2024, March 20). The Art of Cultural Mediation. The Daily Journal.

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