Mediation in French administrative courts: what lessons for administrative justice?
Keywords:mediation, administrative justice, legal pluralism, French administrative law, legislative reform, alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
In 2016, the French Parliament introduced a new chapter on mediation in the Code of Administrative Justice. To succeed, this reform needs to reverse repeated failures in this field. In view of the significant challenge of embedding administrative mediation in the French administrative justice system, the reform and its implementation were informed by empirical findings arising from a mediation pilot set up by the administrative court of Grenoble in Spring 2013. An empirical study of the pilot and of the experience of rolling out administrative mediation in France forms the core of this article and the context in which to revisit foundational questions about mediation and administrative justice. I argue that mediation is not illsuited to administrative law disputes, but that to be integrated in a system of administrative justice, mediation requires the negotiation of a dedicated environment triggering in turn the emergence of a pluralist administrative justice system.