Mediation is the process of settling the dispute between the disputing parties with the assistance of a impartial third party i.e. mediator.
For this, there is a chain/stages of mediation process which has to be followed by the mediator for the settlement.
STAGES OF MEDIATION
There are four functional stages of mediation process :-
- Introduction and opening statement
- Joint Session
- Separate Session
- Reaching a settlement
At the starting of the mediation, the mediator shall ensure that parties with their counsel are present.
INTRODUCTION AND OPENING STATEMENT
- The mediator introduces himself by giving the information such as his name and qualification.
- The mediator requests the parties and their counsels to introduce themselves .
- The mediator expresses the hope that the matter would be amibacly resolve , in order to get the trust and confidence of each party.
- In the opening statement , the mediator explain to the parties the concept , process , advantages and stages of mediation.
- Also , the ground rules of the mediation are told .
- Finally the mediator confirms that process is cleared by both the parties and shall give them opportunity to get the doubts clarified.
- The objective of this , is to gather information , understand facts and issues and also the obstacles and possibilities.
- The mediator invites to both the parties to present their case .
- First, the plaintiff is given opportunity to state the case in his own words, followed by his counsel, who can present and state the legal issues involved in the case. Likewise, the defendant is given opportunity , followed by his counsel.
- The mediator shall identify the area of agreement and disagreement between the parties and should encourage the communication , to get additional information .
- At the completion of joint session , the mediator may meet each party with their counsel.
- The objective of this session is to understand the dispute at deep level ,to encourage parties to generate options and find terms that are mutually acceptable.
- The mediator and each of the party , would talk the mediation in confidence.
- Then , the mediator gathers further information by identifying each party's differential priorities or the differential aspects of the disputes.
- The mediator in order to move the process forward , engage in reality testing , in which the mediator assists the parties to understand the reality of their case and shift the focus on problem solving.
- Then, the mediator offers options which he feels serve the common and maximum interest of each party .
REACHING A STATEMENT
- The mediator can conduct as many as separate session as necessary and may even conduct the sub session with the counsels , if required.
- The parties negotiated through the mediation for a mutually settlement .
- The mediator directs the parties to a option which he feel serve the best interest of both the parties.
- However , if the negotiation fails and settlement cannot be reached the case is returned to referal court
Where there is a settlement:-
- The parties are reassembled. The mediator orally confirms the terms and reduced them to writing.
- The agreement is signed by the parties , also, the mediator may affix his signed on the signed agreement.
- In the closing statement , the mediator thanks the parties for their participation and help in reaching the solution.
When there is no settlement:-
- The case would be returned to the 'referral court' merely mentioning 'Not Settled'.
- The statements made during the mediation will be kept confidential and should not be disclosed by any party or advocate or the mediator to the court or outside the court.
These stages in the process of the mediation are there for carrying out the mediation in the smooth manner . If the stages aren't followed properly then it become difficult for the mediator and parties to come up with a successful settlement.