Published:  12:56 AM, 13 November 2017

Mediation as alternative dispute resolution

Mediation as alternative dispute resolution

Clashes have been within the society since creation. Clashes or disputes cause both positive and negative responses depending on the way we treat them when they arise. Disagreements are indeed a social process which is a common and essential feature of human existence in the world.

Hence, mediation as an alternative dispute resolution may be a very useful way to resolve many legal issues out of court, especially in cases where emotions run high, such as divorce. Because of that, mediation has become very popular over the last few decades and has some compellingly useful attributes.

Definition: Mediation is the settlement of a dispute or controversy by setting up an independent person between two contending parties in order to aid them in the settlement of their disagreement. Therefore, it is the form of alternative dispute resolution, whereby parties attempt to resolve their differences without going to court. Some court directions utilize voluntary or compulsory mediation, especially in family matters.

Mediation practice attempt to settle a legal dispute through active participation of a third party ("neutral" or "mediator") who works to discover points of agreement and mark those in conflict agree on a reasonable outcome. Mediation and arbitration: Arbitration is alike the court procedure as parties still provide testimony and give evidence similar to a trial, however, it is generally less formal. Whereas, mediation is the process of negotiating with the assistance of a neutral third party based on both parties agreement.

Mediator: The word mediator goes back to the Latin word medius, which means middle. The mediator is somebody who helps negotiate between two disagreeing parties. If the married couple bearing in mind to getting divorce, many times they hire a mediator to help them come to an arrangement, and perhaps even to avoid divorce.

Role of a mediator: The mediator helps and guides the parties toward their own resolve. The mediator does not decide the result, however, helps the parties recognize and focus on the important matters needed to reach a solution. Process of mediation: Mediation is the informal as well as flexible dispute resolution practice. The mediator's role is to guide the parties toward their own resolution. The mediator helps both sides define the issues clearly, understand each other's position and move closer to resolution.

Mediation techniques follow your conscious, clear your mind, repeat a mantra, concentrate on a simple visual object, practice visualization, do a body scan, stay calm, listen to understand, accentuate the positive, state matter tactfully, attack the problem, not the person, avoid the blame game and focus on the future, not the past.

Mediation meeting:The mediation meeting is a meeting to set up between two or more people who have a conflict in order to work towards a resolution. This is important to remain neutral and it would help if you have already met with each individual privately previously.

Cost impact: Mediation is relatively cheap, court nominated mediators however are not free. The parties have to engage and pay some for recognized and reputable mediators. This can may be for a day but is money well spent if the matter is resolved quickly. Time impact: Mediation is an extremely quick process. Because, there is no judge, no court date and no lawyers involved. The parties involved with mediation make their own decision on the outcome; this makes the process quite quick. For some people, they do not want to rush themselves into a quick decision; however, actual mediation rarely takes more than a day or so.

Shortcomings: The limitations are that mediation may not be successful and the parties may not reach an agreement on their dispute. In that event, the parties will have to go through the time wasting and expensive process of trial after wasting their time and money in mediation.

Use of mediation
Mediation is the form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), way of agreeing disagreements between two or more parties with concrete effects.

Handle conflict at workplace
Follow these guidelines for handling conflict in the workplace: Encourage employees to work it out. Remember you are their mediator, not their parent, listen carefully to both sides, identify the real issue, consult your employee handbook, find a solution, write it up, talk with the other person, focus on behavior and events, not on personalities, identify points of agreement and disagreement, prioritize the areas of conflict, develop a plan to work on each conflict, follow through on your plan. Commercial Impact: If a mediated outcome is contributing to this mutuality of enlightenment then businesses that have afforded one another support in the past will be able to afford each other backing in the future.

To conclude this writing, I would like to suggest modestly that employers, employees, teachers, students, religious institutions, families and couples to go for mediation if conflicts arise in daily discourse. It is the most cost effective arrangement for dispute resolution.  

The writer is an Assistant Professor at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj

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