Mediation is a well-known term and it refers to a method of non-binding dispute resolution with the assistance of a neutral third party who tries to help the disputing parties to arrive at a negotiated settlement.
ROLE OF A MEDIATOR
A mediator’s role is to make sure that each of the parties:
- Air their disputes
- Find out the strengths and weaknesses of their case and work on it
- Come up with a fair settlement
- The mediator cannot come up with a settlement; it will be enforceable only if both the parties agree to it.
- The mediator will assess the case and highlight the strength and weakness in both sides and come up with a solution that will benefit both the parties.
STAGES OF MEDIATION
Mediation is a multi-stage process intended to get results.
- Stage 1: opening statement of the mediator
Once the claimant and the appellant are ready, the mediator introduces everyone and explains the rules and regulation of the process.
- Stage 2 : disputant’s opening statement
After the mediator introduces everyone seated, he gives an opportunity for each of the party to describe their disputes. During this process, when one person speaks, the others are not allowed to interrupt.
- Stage 3: joint discussion
The mediator gives both the parties the opportunity to present their cases.
- Stage 4: private caucuses
Private caucuses are a chance where each party get to have an opportunity to discuss with the mediator privately. This allows the parties to express themselves easily. The mediator goes in between the rooms and discusses about the strengths and weaknesses to each of the parties.
- Stage 5: joint negotiation
After the private caucuses the mediator brings both the parties to the same room and discusses the issue in hand. The mediator does not go ahead with the joint negotiation until the parties have agreed about the settlement.
After the joint discussion the mediator comes up with a settlement, which is required to be accepted by both the parties. Each party is required to sign the summary of the written agreement. If the parties do not agree upon the settlement then the mediator has to decide whether to continue the negotiation or continue it through telephonic communication.