What is Mediation?

CEDR, one of the founder mediation bodies, describes mediation as:

“Mediation is a flexible process conducted confidentially in which a neutral person actively assists parties in working towards a negotiated agreement of a dispute or difference, with the parties in ultimate control of the decision to settle and the terms of resolution.”

Mediation is an alternative to court proceedings which offers a binding agreed settlement facilitated by the independent mediator. The common features which distinguish mediation from public court litigation include:

  • privacy and confidentiality, which may help ring-fence the difficulties and preserve working and contractual relationships;
  • the procedural flexibility and informality, with the parties having controls over the proceedings, including the timeframe within which the matter is to be conducted – most mediators tell the parties that “it’s your day”;
  • control as to where the mediation will take place;
  • choice of the neutral independent mediator thereby taking into consideration either the expertise and experience in the substance of the dispute, or on the expertise and experience as a mediator. 80% of those who replied to a survey indicated that they would always appoint a mediator on the experience and expertise as a mediator.

Thus taking all things above into consideration, when compared to proceedings in Court, mediation offers the parties the possibilities of a private, quicker and less costly outcome.