Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

Dispute resolution may be viewed from the perspective of economics or negotiation or contract law or game theory or even military strategy. In this Article, I should like to consider employment dispute resolution in particular from the perspective of morality. I do not necessarily mean "morality" in any religious sense. By "morality" here I mean a concern about the inherent dignity and worth of every human being and the way each one should be treated by society. Some persons who best exemplify that attitude would style themselves secular humanists. Nonetheless, over the centuries religions across the globe have played a significant role in dispute resolution (as well as at times, regrettably, dispute provocation). My hunch is that even now many individuals have had their interest triggered in employment issues generally, and employment dispute resolution in particular, by the moral teachings of one religion or another... Here I am first going to take a quick tour of some of the world's great texts, sacred and profane, on dispute resolution, especially through methods chosen by the parties themselves. Then I shall look at a few of the systems that have been created across the globe to settle employment disputes, and what they may have to teach us about the most appropriate procedures. Because so many courts or public tribunals around the world have become overwhelmed by the volume of today's litigation, much of my emphasis will be on alternative dispute resolution ("ADR"). Finally, I should like to venture a few thoughts on what I consider one of the profound, persisting problems in the world of work, as a prime example of the sort of basic human conflict that we must devise a means to resolve, or perhaps risk the very survival of our species.