What Is Mediation?
"See You Out of Court!"
Mediation is the name given to a broad range of processes for assisting in the resolution of disputes.
The key elements are:-
* An impartial person (the mediator) engages the parties in a series of confidential discussions, some being private with each party and others being joint. There is usually an initial joint discussion, followed by a series of private sessions with the mediator shuttling between the two , and with occasional joint discussions where appopriate, but especially at the the conclusion.
* The mediator's approach is non-judgmental and is not intended to impose a solution on the parties, but rather to assist the parties to come to their own solution.
* The focus is on a solution that is acceptable to both parties
* By and large, it is not the role of the mediator to try to pre-empt the way in which a court or tribunal might determine the legal issues. The objective is to reach a solution that gives 'benefit', and is acceptable to, both parties rather than to decide on who is 'right' or 'wrong' in accordance with the law....(more)
* As the parties have come up with a solution jointly, neither party loses face. This is important if the dispute is between two parties in a continuing underlying relationship, e.g. two businesses who trade with each other, or an employer and his employee. An order imposed by a court or tribunal, may cause such animosity as to result in the cessation of any further business dealings between the parties or of the employment. This may be to such detriment to the victor so as to remove any real gain from the order.
* Whilst a judge is restricted to the judgment he can issue, usually that one party owes a sum of money to the other or not at all , there is no limit to the type of practical solutions that a mediation can provide. For example, in a dispute between a wholesaler and a shop over payment for, and the quality of, a delivery of stock, a mediation may result in agreement whereby the wholesaler accepts a reduced payment but, in return, the shop owner commits to continue to buy more stock in future....(more)
Why Mediate Online?
"ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) has the potential to fundamentally change the way litigators function and to become mainstream."
Richard Susskind, IT Advisor to the Lord Chief Justice.
FOR FULLY ONLINE MEDIATIONS
Conducting mediations wholly online provides the opportunity to extend the benefits of mediation to many disputes that otherwise would not be able to benefit including:-
* Disputes between parties who are too geographically distant to enable a meeting to take place - eg international commercial disputes.
* Disputes where the value of the subject matter of the dispute is not sufficiently high as to justify the cost of a meeting based mediation e.g. consumer disputes.
* Disputes where there are sensitivities between the parties that would be at risk of exacerbation by a meeting ,eg in matrimonial disputes.
* Disputes where one party cannot attend a meeting due to severe disability.