Mediation provides an attractive alternative to resolving disputes through court proceedings. Mediation promises just results in the interest of all parties concerned, a reduction of the court caseload, and cost savings for the parties involved as well as for the treasury. The European Directive on Mediation has given mediation in Europe new momentum by establishing a common framework for cross-border mediation. Beyond Europe, many states have tried in recent years to answer the question whether, and if so, how mediation should be regulated at a national and international level. The aim of this book is to promote the understanding and discussion of regulatory issues by presenting comparative research on mediation. It describes and analyses the law and practice of mediation in twenty-two countries. Europe is represented by chapters on mediation in Austria, Bulgaria, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Spain. The world beyond Europe is analysed in chapters on mediation in Australia, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland and the USA. Against this background, further chapters on fundamental issues identify possible regulatory models and discuss central principles of mediation law and practice. In particular, the work considers harmonisation and diversity in the law of mediation as well as the economic and constitutional problems associated with privatising civil justice. To the extent available, empirical research is used as a point of reference in the critical analysis.