Mediation is a dynamic, structured, interactive and voluntary process parties choose, where a neutral third party, the mediator, agreed upon by the parties, or court accredited, assists in resolving conflicts. It is an internationally accepted method of solution to disputes which replaces conflicts with harmonious relations devoid of bitter tastes characteristic of court judgement and reduces anxiety.
Mediation process is conducted “without prejudice” basis. The outcome can not be used against either party as evidence should the case proceed to trial. Disputes which – ordinarily would have taken years- but have been resolved through mediation in a matter of days or hours. The parties are ready to give up the previously held positions and are more amenable to appreciating each other’s interests.
The shorter duration, for example, in resolving land disputes and succession cases, minimize anxiety and resolves family, community conflicts and social tensions occasioned by the prolonged dispute, fostering an overall healing and peace.
Enforceable in court
The mediation agreement is fully enforceable in court in the unlikely event of default in its terms by either party. Embraced worldwide, it is deemed a corruption-free approach and a sine qua non of national good governance.
The mediator, through training and experience, possesses specialized communication and negotiation skills and techniques to assist the parties negotiate a settlement of any nature and magnitude to find mutual optimal solution. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator and guides the parties through the process by broadening the range of possible solutions without making judgement or apportioning blame, thus leading to a win-win situation.
It can be used in commercial, labour, family, community, inter and intra-state disputes of any magnitude
Mediation can function as a means of dispute prevention, such as the process of contract negotiation. Governments can use mediation to inform and to seek input from stakeholders in formulation or fact-seeking aspects of policy-making.
Mediation is ancient. It developed in Ancient Greece, then in Roman civilization.Some cultures regarded mediator as a sacred figure worthy of particular respect. Members of peaceful communities frequently brought disputes before local leaders or wise men to resolve local conflicts.
The practice of mediation is worldwide. USA is regarded as the forerunner of modern mediation practice. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK rank high in the practice. It is also practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the EU.
The Chinese do it too
Chinas meteoric growth, has brought about the need to look outward to outdo its competitors. China operates the largest and most extensive mediation programs in the world that resolves disputes more efficiently and effectively than litigation.
In Malaysia, a major international trade centre, the government has adopted mediation by traders in and out of the country.”
The mediation movement in Singapore is used for private disputes and as an essential part of the legal system.
Mediation is, therefore, worldwide and prudent and should be embraced fully.