Applicable to businesses, consumers, communities, contracts, human resources, families, personal injuries, public policies and property, mediation is a heavyweight method of alternative dispute resolution. Here are five facts about mediation, the process and the outcomes.
1. It’s accessible
There are many misconceptions about mediation. One of which is that it’s not commonly accessible. Even the stringent and archaic UK court justice system has come to understand the power and impact mediation can have. Applicants to court with family disputes are now automatically encouraged to attempt mediation before proceeding to full court. Many law firms also offer mediation services. And now Resolution People are revolutionising mediation services by matching disputants with a suitable mediator from the comfort of their own home.
2. It puts you in control
The process of mediation is flexible and collaborative. It relies on all parties’ willingness to cooperate. The reward of doing so, is a mutually agreeable outcome. Something that can rarely be achieved in court where there is a definitive winner or loser. The flexibility comes from being able to schedule sessions at times that are convenient for you, rather than being dictated to by a court schedule. It can also be as formal or informal as you choose.
3. It’s cost and time efficient
Most mediations conclude much quicker than a court process. Mediation allows you to control costs too. In theory, a mediation (depending on the case) can be resolved in less than a day and cost a fraction of a price of a court trial, which would include court and solicitors fees and potentially hefty settlements.
4. It’s confidential
The parties involved in a mediation can determine the level of confidentiality required for their dispute, with additional privacy and security measures being put in place, should they be required. For example, participants may request that meetings not being recorded which is different to a courtroom, where a dispute is recorded and resolved in the public domain. If any party feel threatened or vulnerable, there is also the option to keep them entirely separate from the other party.
5. It’s successful
Because the participants hold all the power and make all the decisions about the outcome, mediation has a very high success rate of around 80%. The conciliatory nature of mediation also means it limits the amount of conflict and has even been known to heal long- standing rifts between partners, colleagues and neighbours. For this reason alone, it can be hugely beneficial in family disputes where child welfare is at the heart of the problem.
The History of Mediation
Mediation has been at the epicentre of many different legal systems, dating back as far as the Greeks and Romans. It is perhaps more commonly known and documented history in labor disputes, dating back as far as industrial relations in 1896. But its extension into other facets of life has revolutionised its use. Companies proceed to mediation for settlement of contractual and personnel conflicts, divorcees look to settle financial differences, aggrieved neighbours resolve land disputes and parents resolve childcare differences. The benefits of mediation are stretching far and wide. Anyone seeking a better method of dispute resolution – we emphatically encourage you to try mediation. Once you know how effective it is, we doubt you won’t.