The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators offers Accredited MediationTraining as well as appointing or nominating a Mediatio(s) to act in dispute resolution.
1. What is it?
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution procedure, which is designed to avoid the need for parties to go to court to solve their disputes. Essentially it involves a person known as a mediator bringing the parties together to see if a settlement can be reached in the dispute between the parties.
2. How Does Mediation Work?
Mediation involves the parties selecting a person to act as a mediator. Once appointed, the mediator will contact the parties to arrange a venue and a date for the holding of the mediation. On the appointed day both parties will turn up at the agreed venue and will be shown to their respective rooms. The mediator will arrange a series of meetings with the parties during the day. He or she will firstly try to get a good understanding of the nature of the dispute between the parties. He will then try, through a series of discussions with the parties, to explore whether there is scope for a settlement of the dispute. A skilled mediator can very often bring parties to a settlement of their dispute even when such an outcome may have seemed unlikely at the beginning of the day.
3. Where is Mediation Appropriate?
Mediation is used in all areas of dispute - commercial, family, partnership, workplace, organisational, property and personal disputes, as well as national and international disputes.
4. Time and Costs
Mediation can take as long or as short as the parties want. Normally the mediation would take place over one day. However it can extend longer if the parties feel that progress is being made. If the parties feel that a settlement seems highly unlikely, they can simply terminate the proceedings by walking away.
Mediation is a relatively inexpensive and quick method of solving disputes. Usually each party will pay for their own representation at the mediation. It is up to each party to decide whether they want to engage any lawyers at all on their side. If they do, they can decide whether they want to be represented by a solicitor alone, or with counsel. The mediator’s fees will be nominated by him or her in advance and will usually be split equally between the parties. The mediator would usually be responsible for the hire of the rooms for the duration of the mediation. The mediation can be held quickly, if the parties and the mediator can agree on a suitable date and venue for the mediation.
5. Final and Binding
The mediation only becomes binding when a formal settlement agreement is signed by all the parties at the end of the mediation. Up to that moment any party can walk away and continue with other procedures, such as court action or arbitration. The main attraction is that the parties know exactly what result they will have at the end of the day; it is whatever they have agreed in their settlement agreement. This is different to a court action or to arbitration where the resolution of the dispute is given over to a judge or an arbitrator. Another advantage of mediation is that it is completely confidential. Even if a settlement is not reached and the matter proceeds to a court hearing or to arbitration, no reference can be made to anything said during the unsuccessful mediation.