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WHAT IS MEDIATION?

Mediation is an approach to solving disputes which seeks to avoid lengthy and costly legal proceedings and the need to go to court.

The mediator Рan independent third party Рhelps both sides to come to an agreement. It is a flexible process which is used increasingly to resolve disputes in a wide variety of areas, including consumer, contract, workplace, family and neighbourhood. Mediators are neutral and will not give guidance or make judgements. Their role is to ensure effective communications so that both sides can find a way to reach an effective outcome.

COST

Mediation  generally takes much less time, often hours or days, in comparison with legal proceedings. In addition, costs are shared equally between both parties.

CONTROL

In a court case, control lies with the judge or jury. Because mediation allows the parties involved to define and agree the outcome of their dispute, it offers a greater level of control to those involved.

CONFIDENTIALITY

While court hearings are public, what is discussed during mediation is not disclosed outside of the mediation meeting and cannot be shared in court in the event that the dispute is not resolved.

COMPLIANCE

Because parties have found mutually agreeable solutions, compliance with mediated agreements is usually high.

COMPROMISE

Because mediation is a voluntary process, it often means that parties are more amenable to understanding the other parties side in order to find and reach an agreement. This can often salvage the relationship the parties had before the dispute.

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

Mahatma Gandhi

All your questions answered...

What is the difference between mediation, litigation and arbitration?

Mediation is a process of managed negotiation, where the parties seek to find an agreed compromise or solution to their dispute. If they cannot reach agreement, the mediation fails.

Litigation and arbitration are formal processes by which the parties submit their dispute to a third party (a judge or an arbitrator) for him or her to make a decision which then becomes binding on them and enforceable by various methods.

Litigation is a court process, open (in most cases) to the public. Arbitration is a process where the parties agree to refer the dispute to a suitably qualified individual (or panel). In most cases arbitrations are conducted in private.

What steps do I have to take to get a mediation underway?

You must first ask the other party or parties to agree to mediation. Court protocols and court rules now make it very difficult for other parties to refuse a genuine offer of mediation and so in most cases mediation should be available.

You must then agree with the other party or parties as to who will act as mediator. You should seek to appoint a suitably accredited individual with experience of the type of dispute in which you are involved.

What are the benefits of mediation?

The principal benefits of mediation are that it is:

  • Time-saving in comparison with other ways of resolving disputes
  • Less costly than alternatives
  • Less stressful than going to court
  • A way of enabling the parties to keep in control of the situation
  • Flexible
  • Non adversarial
  • In the best interests of both parties
  • Focused on achieving a fair outcome
What is the difference between mediation, litigation and arbitration?

Mediation is a process of managed negotiation, where the parties seek to find an agreed compromise or solution to their dispute. If they cannot reach agreement, the mediation fails.

Litigation and arbitration are formal processes by which the parties submit their dispute to a third party (a judge or an arbitrator) for him or her to make a decision which then becomes binding on them and enforceable by various methods.

Litigation is a court process, open (in most cases) to the public. Arbitration is a process where the parties agree to refer the dispute to a suitably qualified individual (or panel). In most cases arbitrations are conducted in private.

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