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Alternative Dispute Resolution Essay

3377 words - 14 pages

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Resolution in the courts is not the only method of dispute resolution.
If the parties can resolve their own differences then there would be
no need to use the court system which would benefit all parties being
the claimant, defence and the civil justice service. Although the
court service is a good and fair way of dealing with civil disputes in
might not be the ideal way in getting the best result for both the
parties. There are four main ways of alternative dispute resolution
(ADR) they are; Negotiation, Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration
(also known as a Formal Settlement Conference or mini-trial).

Negotiation is a method whereby the two parties try to resolve their
differences by sitting down together in the hope of reaching an
agreement. By using this method it is cheap, private and quick. The
parties can also use their solicitor or another legal representative
if they fail in the negotiation process this method maybe more ideal
because it will not incorporate any bad feelings or emotion which
might prevent any resolution being agreed. When a dispute has being
'settled out of court' it has been resolved by negotiation and
negotiation precedes the majority of cases due to be heard in the
county court and also sometimes tribunals. Negotiations are organised
by the two parties or by their legal representatives on their agreed
terms. Most negotiations take place in an neutral environment which
could be a booked boardroom or even an office depending on the size of
the parties. Each party would agree on a set time limit if deemed
necessary to increase the pressure on both parties to settle in
agreement without dragging on which could cause high costs. There are
not set rules or guidelines for the process once it has commenced but
usual fair practice would impend that the claimant first explains his
or her position and the reason for the dispute. The opposition party
can then give their stance and any reasoning for the dispute. Each
party can then suggest a resolution and barter for an agreement
suiting both parties. Negotiation fundamentally allows both parties to
get their story off their chests in a non-hostile environment in an
effort to understand each others opinion.

Mediation is similar to the above method of negotiation with the
exception that it also involves a third person. This person is
completely neutral and is called the mediator. The mediator will
consult with both the parties privately at a place and time agreed by
everyone. He/she will take down all key points of both arguments and
will attempt to seek 'common ground' between parties which the
mediator will discuss conclusively with them together and on a agreed
date. The purpose of the mediator is to give a basis to both parties
from which to begin discussion to form a...

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