Mediation is a process in which a specially trained third party intervenes in a dispute and attempts, through negotiation techniques, to bring the parties together into a settlement agreement. If the mediation succeeds, and over 80% of them do, then it ends with a binding agreement. If they are dissatisfied with the process either party or the mediator may terminate the mediation at any time. The claimant may then proceed to assert their legal rights through arbitration or the courts.
Our current legal system – one of adversarial practice – is being questioned and reformed – it is complicated, time consuming and expensive. Even the existing alternative – Arbitration – is perceived as being long winded, costly and simply replacing one binding decision making process with another in which people have little or no control over the decision in their disputes. The reality is that neither party really wants to go to litigation, except in certain circumstances where precedent or case law may be involved. The answer is simply to give both parties a frame-work in which they, along with a neutral third party, The mediator, can negotiate their own settlement.
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