Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps to facilitate communication and negotiations between both sides with the intention of a resolution without the need to go to court.
Mediation is a flexible process that can be adapted according to the desires of the parties present. All mediations are strictly confidential and without prejudice allowing discussions to be as open and honest as possible.
It is the role of the mediator to understand the obstacles which are preventing a settlement from taking place, through questioning and negotiating, whilst remaining completely impartial and without giving advice. The mediator is there to help parties reach a solution and agree to a settlement with the consensus from both parties. The mediator will use effective communication strategies in order to mediate effectively and discuss the options in reaching a resolution.
In order for a mediation to successfully settle both parties must provide their consent. The mediator is not there to make judgement or to order a decision, any decision making is in the hands of the parties present.
Mediaiton is an informal procedure and is provided in a safe environment and as most mediations are resolved within a day legal costs are drastically reduced and without the need to go to court.
Mediation can be used in a wide range of disputes including:
- commercial and business
- community and nieghbourhood
If no agreement has been reached then parties may still proceed with the normal legal channels and no discussions that took place in the mediation will be disclosed at court.
The cost of mediation is usually shared equally between the parties and is dependent on the complexity of the case.
A mediation session usually starts with a joint meeting of all those present on the day, although some parties find a joint session too difficult in which case the mediation would start with private, closed sessions. This decision will be at the discretion of the parties attending the mediation. A joint meeting can often transpire later in the day, again, only if all parties present agree. It is the mediator’s role to explain the process of the day and to reiterate the confidential nature of the proceedings. If a joint meeting takes place, the mediation usually leads to the parties being divided and through a series of private mediation sessions called “caucuses”. In each caucus, the mediator will work with each party to discuss their case in much further detail. There is the opportunity to consider in detail the options for a settlement and what they would like to achieve from the day. It is the mediator’s role to work with both parties to try to reach an agreeable resolution.
Mediation is a voluntary process and it is not the mediator’s role to force the parties to reach an agreement, but to control and direct discussions. The choices, decisions and agreements made throughout the day will be entirely at the discretion of the parties. The mediator will listen and help both parties to understand and identify any obstacles preventing a settlement and will develop strategies for overcoming them. The mediator’s listening skills will assist in making sessions counterproductive and thus work towards reaching a mutually and satisfactory resolution.
Mediation is a process whereby discussions and negotiations take place in a safe, non-confrontational environment, as opposed to the normal formal procedure usually held in court. It is a process for resolving disputes whereby a mutually agreeable solution can be reached by the parties themselves and not influenced by legal representatives or enforced by a judge. There are no tactical angles used in mediation and no confrontational arguments need to be shared between the parties. It provides a neutral environment each party can express their side, let their views be heard and ultimately work with the mediator to reach a resolution. Parties are able to see their case realistically and truly assess their situation and the options available to them and the consequences in continuing without a settlement.
Due to the informality and more-relaxed process, disputes can usually be resolved within a day. Most parties who attend mediation have accumulated large legal fees and mediation provides the opportunity to eradicate the need for any further expensive legal costs.
Mediations can last from one hour for less complex cases up to one day for more intricate disputes. Given that mediation is a process determined by the parties, the length of a mediation can be dependent on the parties.
Mediation usually takes place on neutral grounds, although, many parties involved in mediation often have a premises or an office which can be used. All parties must consent to the whereabouts of the mediation. If you are unsure where you would like the mediation to take place, we can make suggestions and assist with the booking.
Every mediation is treated in the strictest of confidence. Each party attending the mediation, including the mediator, is bound by the mediation agreement, which is signed prior to the mediation; this clearly states that the mediation is confidential to the parties involved and is without prejudice. This means that no party can take any information from the mediation and later use it in court of law.
The more horses approach the trough the more will drink from it. Litigants being like horses we should give them every assistance to settle their disputes in this way (through mediation). We do them, and the justice system, a disservice if we do not.