A sensible alternative for constructive resolution of conflict
Undoubtedly, at some point you will have wondered whether, instead of taking an issue to court, other options for resolving disputes might exist which would avoid the high costs and protracted length of litigation but still find an answer that offered you the best possible solution and a fairly negotiated outcome.
Mediation is one such way to resolve conflicts.
What is mediation and when is it used?
Mediation means talking to all parties involved in a dispute with the aim of reaching an agreement; what makes the process special is that with the help of the mediator, the partners voluntarily accept responsibility for reaching a fair and legally binding solution on the basis of existing legal, financial, and personal circumstances and interests. The conflicting parties are actually the people best suited to resolve the dispute.
There are neither winners nor losers in the mediation process. If it succeeds, everyone wins. If mediation fails, you can still choose to take the issue to court.
Mediation points to ways in which all disputes involving social interaction may be resolved, for example disagreement about issues of employment, family, succession, neighbourhood or company law.
Mediation is usually far less expensive and much quicker than a court case.
How does mediation work?
When the parties involved have agreed to mediation and chosen their mediator, they are given a reasonable amount of time and opportunity to present their full view of the matter. The mediator encourages the parties to take responsibility for arriving at a solution that works for them and respects their interests.
The mediation process ends with an agreement which then becomes binding on all parties.
What is the mediator’s role?
The mediator is a “go-between”, not a judge. Neither does the mediator take sides. The mediator is everybody’s advocate.
Thanks to his/her well-founded professional, specialist knowledge, a lawyer trained as a mediator is able to guide the parties towards a position in which they can work out their own suggestions for a solution. The mediator’s skills allow him/her to provide the input which leads all concerned down the path to a beneficial solution.