The Process of Mediation
Mediation is informal and assists disputing parties in reaching an agreement.
It consists of a neutral 3rd party acting as the mediator who acts as a go between to facilitate cooperation and agreement.
Mediation is often used in family disputes known as family mediation. There is no need for a legal expert such as a lawyer.
The process is voluntary and all parties feel in control with both separate as the mediator moves between both.
The process is not appropriate if the disputing parties are entrenched (not willing to cooperate).
The process only works when the parties reach an agreement and it is NOT legally binding unless it is drawn up by a lawyer or solicitor, which costs money and defeats the point of ADR which aims at saving money.
Advantages of Mediation
- The process is voluntary
- It saves a lot of time and money
- The process is relatively cheap - the average cost of mediation is £3120
- It reflects the interests of the disputing parties making the process equal and fair
- The relationships of the parties is preserved such as within the family or business
- Mediation is actively encouraged by the courts under the Civil Procedure Rules
- All parties retain the right to go to court if they are not happy with the outcome
Disadvantages of Mediation
- The process is not legally binding unless it is drawn up by a lawyer which costs more money for the parties which defeats the point of ADR
- It is not an appropriate method of alternative dispute if the parties are entrenched
- Parties have no access to legal aid
- The mediator is not necessarily an expert in the disputed field so there is a lack of expertise
- The process is too informal and the parties may not take the process too seriously