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Copyright (c) 2008 Curators of the University of Missouri
Journal of Dispute Resolution

Article: Philippine Community Mediation, Katarungang Pambarangay



2 J. Disp. Resol. 501


Gil Marvel P. Tabucanon, * James A. Wall, Jr., ** and Wan Yan ***


I. Background

In a recent article contemplating the challenges society will face to survive the next half century, Joel Cohen surmised that one requisite for survival is finding domestic and international institutions to resolve conflicts. 1 Currently, mediation appears to be the frontrunner for domestic resolutions. It is applied to a wide variety of conflicts, including labor-management negotiations, community disputes, school conflicts, and marital problems. Moreover, there is evidence from China, Taiwan, India, Britain, Australia, Japan, and Turkey indicating that mediation is being utilized worldwide. 2

When applied worldwide to a variety of conflicts, mediation assumes diverse forms. This article reports on a type of mediation that is probably unknown to most readers the three-person "Katarungang Pambarangay" panel utilized in the Philippines.

First, we present a brief overview of the process, followed by a delineation of the history, purpose, operational structure, jurisdiction, venue, procedure, and time frame for this mediation approach. Finally, we report on interviews we conducted with mediators who have served on these panels. Their accounts reveal intriguing details as to how the mediation process unfolds and the benefits of this dispute resolution process.

Our goals in this article are threefold: (1) to describe this grassroots mediation approach; (2) to expand our knowledge about mediation; and (3) to reflect on the advantages of this approach so as to improve mediation in other arenas.

The report begins with a succinct overview of the Katarungang Pambarangay institution.

II. Katarungang Pambarangay: Overview

The Katarungang Pambarangay is ...
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