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to refer the matter to a specialist such as a trained social worker, counsellor,
doctor or psychiatrist.
Some of the matters that the ETM emphasizes for healing are that forgiveness
is a matter of enlightened self-interest because it removes the poisons
from the person doing the forgiving, but is effective only if genuine;
that reconciliation requires a basis in truth (hence the phrase “truth and reconciliation”)
and so past perceived misconduct cannot simply be ignored
but must be addressed with a foundation of genuine repentance, empathy
and compassion; that an apology cannot be forced, and is powerful only if
genuine, and if so, even where it is not accepted, it may help the person
apologizing to heal; and that a wound, even if it is bandaged, will require
time to heal.
In view of the burdens on the courts, the frustrations of costs and delays,
and issues of access to justice, there is growing interest in ADR, particularly
mediation. But most mediation services do not have a coherent design for
ethical mediations. While there is an appreciation among mediators for
such a structured design for ethical mediations, this is a relatively new and
developing field. It is hoped that this article, which outlines the main elements
of the ETM developed by the author for the Ismaili CABs worldwide,
and which is unique in the field of mediation, will contribute to the development
of best practices for structured ethical mediations.
1. Online: <the.ismaili/sites/default/files/rules_for_
2. Ibid, Recital A.
3. His Highness the Aga Khan, University of Alberta
Graduation Address delivered in Edmonton, Alberta
on 9 June 2009, online: <www.akdn.org/speech/
4. For Muslims, this derives from the metaphysical concept
of intrinsic oneness (known in Islam as tawhid),
which His Highness the Aga Khan has referred to as
an “all-encompassing unity” whose roots lie in the
understanding that humanity has a common patrimony,
being created from a “single soul” (Quran,
Surah al-Nisa, 4:1). Similar ideas underlie not only
other faith traditions, but also secular ideas of universal
principles that inform values such as human rights
and individual freedoms.