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Finding examples of fair outcomes

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Collecting information about fair outcomes. What are norms and criteria? Which fair solutions have been used and accepted in this community? 

Solutions summary

Facilitators and organisations know, that most disputes are also about money, or dividing assets. How much child support? Compensation in case of eviction? Increase of rent? Share in use of water or land? Knowing how others solved these issues helps. Sharing rules are rules of thumb about what is fair. Sometimes they already exist. (See the information on this website under Sharing Rules)  They help calculate answers to questions as how can I know what amount of compensation is fair when I get evicted? What amount of child support can I reasonably ask in my situation? How do I know what a fair wage is for my job? (see here for an example about compensation for eviction). Such examples can be shared with the parties and be used to determine fair outcomes. Collecting information about fair outcomes This can be done as follows: 
  • Your own practice and experience. What norms did you see? 
  • Experiences of colleagues. Ask a group of them what they know about criteria used. Which outcomes were found acceptable in similar cases.  
  • Concrete laws. Sometimes laws give criteria or a formula. 
  • Experiences of local lawyers, village chiefs, or police officers
  • Surveys among people about what they (or others) received as outcomes
Developing new sharing rules Sharing rules can also be developed. If there is no clear standard for fair outcomes, it can help to do this.
  • You can use the experience of decision making third parties. 
  • Develop and present scenarios that reflect common disputes in common situations. 
  • Ask them what they think the outcome should be in that situation. 
This download can help you Develop a Sharing Rule

Local solution: Conference Comments

Make precedents transparent (surveying?)
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Local solution: How to Collect Sharing Rules that may be Acceptable to Both Parties


By setting pre-rules and to make them clear to parties involved. 
1.            Adversarial by applying
2.            To send in advance to all involved parties a copy of all the documents, so that everyone can prepare themselves.
3.            That both parties have the opportunity to tell their whole story and their view;
4.            To ask parties, how they want the conflict resolution process to go (eg 1 or 2 times their point across and then respond to what the other has said or written only to make known their views).

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Added by: DAS

Local solution: How to collect Sharing Rules

To find an acceptable sharing rule the facilitator could gather data and analyse the local custom about what is considered fair. On basis of this information and based on the experience of successful and similar cases in the past, mediators could inform parties.

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Added by: ADHOC

Evidence from literature

Questions to find a sharing rule:

  • what possible criteria do you see to share?
  • What share criteria should other people in a situation like this use?
  • How could we find these criteria?
  • Who could tell us more about good criteria?
  • What could be good process?

Fisher and Ury recommend asking the other party who is doing a proposal questions such as: What is your theory? How did you arrive at this figure?

Fisher & Ury, Getting to ‘Yes’. 1982


On the need for concrete criteria in the law in the books or law in action.

Barendrecht, M and Kamminga, P. (2004) Effectief conflict oplossen


A conceptual paper (that also integrates empirical studies and evidence) on different sources of sharing rules:

Jin Ho Verdonschot, Delivering Objective Criteria: Sources of Law and the Relative Value of Neutral Information for Dispute Resolution.

Finding examples of fair outcomes

by admin on March 21, 2011

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