Alternative dispute resolution, commonly referred to as ADR, is the process of resolving disputes without going to court. Common forms of ADR are; Mediation; Arbitration; Adjudication; and Ombudsman services.
Mediation is a way of resolving disputes between another party with the help of an impartial third party called a mediator. The mediator does not take sides and their role is to help disgruntled parties settle the dispute without going to court. Mediation can resolve issues with money, property, family disputes or business affairs.
Neither party can force the other to engage in mediation hearings. Mediation must be mutually agreed.
If you are interested in trying mediation speak to a solicitor as they can help you arrange the mediation and give you guidance on the process.
On the 7th August 2019 the Singapore Convention on Mediation, also known as the ‘United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation’ was signed by 46 countries at the official signing ceremony in Singapore. The convention provides a mechanism for parties in a mediation agreement to enforce it in the courts of any country that is a member of the convention.
This landmark convention formalised the enforceability of mediation agreements, as a result it will make mediation as a form of cross-border commercial dispute resolution more attractive. Due to its time and cost-efficient process, mediation allows for an affordable alternative to traditional litigation or arbitration methods.
Arbitration is another common form of ADR. This is a popular option for businesses involved in high value disputes due to its cost-efficient process and affordable prices compared to taking the claim to trial.
At an arbitration hearing an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators is appointed by the parties to make a binding decision, from which there is very limited grounds of challenge. Much like mediation, arbitration requires the consent of both parties before it can be administered. This gives defendants a degree of autonomy over how their rights can be challenged.
Arbitration has two types; institutional, meaning the process of solving the problem is conducted by an institution, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) or the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).
The second type is ad hoc arbitration. Ad hoc literally means ‘made to measure’. This kind of arbitration allows for the parties to determine whatever rules they may consider appropriate for the arbitration. Parties involved have control over the rules and tribunals judges.
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