Consensus Building, Public Dispute Resolution, and Social Justice

Monday, October 1, 2007

Keynote Address: Fordham University School of Law Dispute Resolution Society Symposium
New York, New York

Susskind's keynote address focuses on democracy, public dispute resolution, social justice, and the intersection of these three topics.

"For consensus building in the public arena to work, we probably need to institutionalize a set of ground rules—that is, to say what the qualities are of good processes—to make sure there is a supply of capable, qualified, professional neutrals, who subscribe to a clear code with regard to their unique responsibilities working in the public policy realm. [...]

Why wouldn’t public officials prefer to know a way to proceed that would be viewed as meeting everybody’s interests? If we can show that an informed consensus can be produced in a reasonable amount of time, at a reasonable cost, in a way that doesn’t leave anybody out, in a way that deals with inequalities across groups, in a way that ensures that hard-to-represent interests are presented, why wouldn’t that be preferable?"

To read the full text of "Consensus Building, Public Dispute Resolution, and Social Justice", including the transcribed question and answer session following the talk, download the PDF.