Dispute resolution is the procedure of resolving disputes between transacting parties. Sometimes it is used interchangeably with conflict resolution, however, conflicts are generally deeper rooted. It is an indispensable procedure for a socially peaceful life. It is a resolution process that tries to resolve and check conflicts to maintain cooperation. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a term to explain different modes of resolving disputes. Since it is impracticable for many individuals to file lawsuits, ADR is often opted by them as the same provides an amicable manner of solving the dispute. This redressal method is being increasingly appreciated in the legal field and in corporate sectors. Alternative Dispute Resolution can be applied in almost all contentious matters which fit into the category of disputes which can be solved by mediation or negotiation. In the coming paragraph, we shall be discussing the Alternative Dispute Resolution system in countries like The United States, and Canada.
The United States of America
In the case of the United States, the American Society witnessed a growth of interest in Alternative Forms of Dispute Resolution at the beginning of the late 1960s. This was followed by the establishment of a Community Relation Service of the Justice Department to assist courts in settling intractable community disputes. The National Centre for Dispute Settlement and the Institute of Mediation and Conflict Resolution was established by the Ford Foundation to study the dispute settlement mechanisms. However, it may be noted that the United States Arbitration Act, also known as the Federal Arbitration Act, enacted in the year 1925 brought forth the modern era of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Alternative Dispute Resolution provides a clear and understandable manner of solving disputes even in the International Arena. A Hallmark of the success of the American ADR movement is the huge endorsement from non-profit professional organizations such as the American Bar Association, the American Arbitration Association, and the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. Thus, this method got institutionalized in the U.S, as the same provided the society with definite benefits.
Canada witnessed the cultural shift in their experience with the application of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Around, the 1980s and 1990s a need was recognized for an alternative to the more adversarial approach to dispute resolution that was recognized typical in traditional court proceedings. This growth continued over the coming decades and now it has been widely recognized as an effective approach to dispute resolution. In Hryniak v. Mauldin, the Supreme Court of Canada stated that “meaningful access to justice is now the greatest challenge to the rule of law in Canada today… [The] balance between procedure and access struck by our justice system must reflect modern reality and recognize that new models of adjudication can be fair and just.” In Canada, there are Administrative Tribunals both at the Federal and Provincial levels running parallel to the provincial or territorial and federal court systems. They comprise an important course in the Government’s system for resolving disputes. These Tribunals are specialized bodies that hear disputes related to government rules and regulations, like employment insurance, disability benefits, and refugee claims. An adjudicator presides over the hearing of the dispute.