Advantages and Disadvantages of Negotiation

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  • Advantages and disadvantages of negotiation
    • Advantages
      • Speed: The process is usually quicker than in courts. Convenient as both parties arrange dates and times, probably shortly after dispute arises.
      • Cost: Process is the least expensive of the Alternative Dispute Resolutions. No lawyers (unless consulted and instructed afterwards) or court costs, and usually the only costs incurred are those of: Parties time, cost of sending a letter, or the cost of a telephone call.
      • Privacy: Proceedings are conducted in private so there is no need for any stress or embarassment to incur. Nobody outside the agreement may know of the dispute or the settlement. No media/publicity.
      • Formaility: Process is less formal than courts. Simple negotiation is when parties talk face to face, terms of settlement may be in any form, they may even be in a form not allowed by the courts process (eg: letter of apology to former employee, a neighbour letting a third party prune an overhanging tree, or a business letting a customer choose from a range of their stock.
    • Disadvantages
      • Imbalance of power: Some parties often weaker than the other and acting less voluntarily. Some parties may not wish to solve their dispute by negotiation, and some disputes that negotiation is just not appropriate for - for example, due to extreme personality clashes.
      • Lack of legal expertise: Lawyers are not used although may be instructed and consulted on a point of law that has arisen via the negotiation process. The parties may agree a settlement on which is not practical or enforceable and the dispute may then arise - thus needing to instruct solicitors advice once more - as they did not have the legal expertise to make a settlement that was not practical/enforceable.
      • Lack of certainty: There is a lack of certainty as the strict rules of precedent are not followed. There is no security that the negotiation will be successful and the process may reignite the dispute.
      • Enforceability: The agreement negotiated between the parties may become enforceable by the courts; however the parties may have no appreciation of this point. One party may believe the agreement is a binding agreement, but the other may feel it is only enforceable unless agreed otherwise. Causing confusion and upset.


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