Influenced by the (new) law on mediation, the legislature is now telling parties to settle disputes on their own and to relieve burden from the courts as much as possible. Magistrates, bailiffs, and lawyers are instructed to cooperate in encouraging amicable resolution of disputes.
1 A palette of choices
When parties are faced with a conflict, they have a range of conflict resolution methods to choose from. These include negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and taking the matter to court.
Each method has their pros and cons. These depend on the relationship between parties, the time limits by when a resolution must be found, the parties’ intention to take the resolution in their own hands, the costs that parties (wish to) bear, and the outcome that they are aiming for (e.g.: an enforceable right? Its own solution? A quick solution?)
1 Mediation as a worthwhile alternative
The business world is increasingly trusting mediation as a worthwhile alternative dispute resolution method. This is because the accredited mediator profession is recognized, and mediation offers flexibility during pandemic times, among other reasons. Mediation can be organized in person, online, and around the clock (24/7), in consultation between the parties and the mediator. This enables parties to react quickly to conflicts that demand an urgent resolution, and parties can take this resolution in their own hands.
2 What added value does mediation offer that is higher than what negotiations can offer?
First of all, the mediation process is led by a neutral third party, the mediator. He or she organizes the meetings, is attentive to respectful communication between parties, structures the process, ensures that all interests are presented and that the agreed points of action are followed up.
Parties can agree amicably in consultation with each other to embark on a mediation process, but the court can impose this also. The judge may order this if one of the parties requests it or upon its own initiative, even if not all parties agree to it. The idea is to get the parties around the table. Parties cannot be compelled to find a mediated resolution if they do not want it; mediation is a voluntary process.
What is also important is that mediation by its nature is confidential. This means that it can be terminated only if parties agree to the termination in writing.
The major advantage of mediation is that if the parties do reach an agreement, this agreement can be ratified so that it becomes an enforceable order. This is why mediation is one of the most efficient ways to come to a solution that is supported by parties.
3 What added value does mediation offer that is higher than what a lawsuit can offer?
To convince the business world that mediation offers a higher added value than what a lawsuit can offer, it is important to understand that mediation focuses on a business solution that takes into consideration the relationship between parties, whereby parties devise a solution together and (if possible) create business. In this way, they can achieve a win-win situation and can save a significant amount of time and money compared to resolving the dispute by suing in court.
Are you in a dispute, and you’re seeking someone to guide you in finding a resolution? Or do you simply want more information? We are here to assist you.