Mediation is a form of assisted negotiation. Whilst settlement rates for Alternative Dispute Resolution are generally high (50% to 85% according to a 2004 research paper by NADRAC), it is the quality of mediation settlements that is important. The proven process enables the parties to identify options to resolve the issues between them, assisted by an independent mediator as facilitator.
The parties to a dispute can openly discuss their issues in a confidential environment and with the knowledge that the mediator is there to assist the parties to reach a mutually beneficial result rather than making a determination. With the assistance of the mediator, the parties themselves control the outcome of the process.
Compared with litigation, mediation:
- Is an affordable process;
- provides the parties with a speedy resolution mechanism;
- is capable facilitating an ongoing relationship; and
- is capable of flexible outcomes.