What is Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential, non-binding and without prejudice process of intervention in a dispute or negotiation by an impartial third party who has no decision-making power. The third party assists disputing parties in voluntarily reaching their own mutually acceptable settlement of issues in dispute by structuring the negotiation, maintaining the channels of communication, assisting each party to articulate their needs, identifying the issues, and assisting the parties in creating alternative ideas to resolve the dispute.

It is a voluntary process which is undertaken on a confidential basis - that is, nothing said or done in mediation is admissible as evidence in legal proceedings up to the point when agreement is reached.

Unlike an arbitrator, who can impose terms, the mediator acts as a catalyst for the process, helping parties reach agreements by identifying issues, exploring possible bases for agreement and the consequences of mot settling, and encouraging each party to accommodate the interests of the other parties. It is a cooperative, interest-based approach to conflict resolution. It is one of the fastest growing conflict management skills in North America, Britain and Australia.

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