Mediation is an alternative method used to resolve disputes or disagreements between two or more parties that have issues that need resolution between themselves.
The term mediation refers to any instance in which the third party “the mediator” helps each of the other parties to reach agreement.
The mediator appointed either by an independent person or by agreement assists the parties in dispute by negotiation and discussion to achieve a solution and negotiate a settlement.
Mediators mediate a varied range of disputes such as commercial, legal, workplace, community and family matters, using techniques to open or improve discussion between the disputing parties, aiming to help the parties achieve a result and reach an agreement.
The process of mediation is a confidential process. Parties agree to negotiate in good faith to work together to achieve a mutually satisfying compromise, this compromise or settlement may not necessarily conform with legal precedent, or even community standards, but is one which resolves the problem or the issues to the satisfaction of the parties.
A settlement reached as a result of the mediation is documented signed by the parties, which if need be at a later time may be used in court proceedings.
The major benefit of using the mediation process is it is more user friendly the process generally taking less time than moving thru legal channels.
The benefits of mediation are:
- Cost – mediators charge a fee although it generally takes less time than the court process, therefore costing considerably less, than lawyers and court proceedings.
- Confidentiality – court proceedings are public, mediation remains strictly confidential.
- Control – mediation increases the parties control of a resolution whereas a court proceeding relies on a judge or jury.
- Compliance – as a result is obtained by mediation (agreement) the compliance of a mediated agreement is usually high. This may also reduce costs as there is no requirement to have the court force compliance.
- Mutuality – as the parties have agreed to mediation, they are prepared to work together towards a resolution they are more amenable to understanding the other parties issues working together on the underlying issues to resolve the dispute.
JOHN M KRAUS
B.Bus.Accounting. CA. AIAMA