Types of ADR Mechanisms
Arbitration is a neutral process for settlement of disputes fairly through a person or persons or an institutional body without recourse to litigation by the parties pursuant to an agreement. It may be ad-hoc, contractual, institutional, or statutory. A neutral third person chosen by the parties to the dispute settles the disputes between the parties in arbitration. Though it resembles the courtroom based settlement, it involves less procedure and parties’ choice of arbitrator. It exists with the established less cumbersome process and it is quite useful in resolving different kinds of disputes including international commercial disputes. At present, arbitration is the only legally binding and enforceable alternative to ordinary court proceedings.
Conciliation is a private, informal process in which a neutral third person helps disputing parties to reach a mutual agreement. It is a process whereby the
parties, together with the help of a neutral third party, systematically isolate the issues involved in the dispute, develop options, consider alternatives and reach a consensual settlement that will fulfill all their needs. Usually, the conciliator in this process would independently investigate the dispute and draft his report indicating the method of settlement of disputes.
Mediation involves the amicable settlement of disputes between the parties with the help of a mediator. The task of the mediator is to bring the
parties together to the process of amicable settlement of their disputes. The mediator would influence the parties to cut down their demands with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable solution. Hence, the mediator plays the role of a facilitator in attaining cooperation between the parties. Mediation lays emphasis on the parties’ own responsibilities for making decisions that affect their lives instead of a third party judging the fate of the disputing parties.
Negotiation closely resembles mediation. However, it is more often referred to as a method wherein the parties to the dispute themselves would settle
their disputes. The negotiation process often involves bargaining. Even if a third party negotiator is involved in the process of negotiation, his role would be limited to inducing the parties to the process of negotiation.
Lok Adalat is a unique system developed in India. It means people’s court. It is a forum where disputes are resolved amicably by persuasive means. It encompasses negotiation, mediation, and conciliation as tools to settle disputes between the parties. Lok Adalats have been given the powers that a civil court has under the Code Civil Procedure. The summary procedure employed in Lok Adalats help in the speedy disposal of cases by the team of experts involved in Lok Adalats.