Whatever method of Dispute Resolution that takes place beyond the courtroom is referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution. It entails conflict resolution processes and techniques that do not involve litigation and empowers parties to collaborate using a framework to resolve complex issues amicably. Negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and private judging are the most common ADR methods.
Negotiation is typically the first step before resorting to other forms of ADR. It is more casual and gives the parties more leeway. Negotiation is essentially just parties recognising an issue and meeting to resolve it—they control both the procedure and the solution.
This may appear obvious, as business owners negotiate relationships and disagreements all day, every day. When a problem becomes serious enough, it can be beneficial to recognise informal negotiation as the first phase in a potential ADR process.
Mediation is an example of aided negotiation. During mediation, parties seek the assistance of a neutral third party (the mediator) to assist them in resolving their dispute. Importantly, mediation necessitates extensive participation on both sides.
Informal mediation can occur when the mediator is a companion, member of the family, or trusted advisor. In the case of informal mediation, it is critical to choose a person on whom both parties can agree and who brings some level of expertise to the situation.
The process can also be formalised by hiring a professional, neutral third party. Formal mediators are qualified negotiators who assist parties in reaching an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties. In either case, the goal of a mediator is to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution, not to decide who is right or wrong.
Conciliation, like mediation, is private, voluntary, and adaptable. It is also assisted by a neutral third party (a conciliator) and focuses on reaching a satisfactory dispute resolution for both parties.
Unlike mediation, the conciliator makes a proposal to the parties to fix the dispute, and the parties collaborate from there. The proposal is non-binding, but as with mediation, any formal agreements reached after conciliation can be deemed legally binding.
Arbitration is a more formal process than negotiation, mediation, or conciliation, and it can resemble litigation. The parties offer up their disagreement to an arbitrator, who makes a decision at the end of the process. Arbitration can be agreed upon before or after a conflict arises.
Arbitrators also have a lot of leeway in working with the parties in front of them in ways that a judge might not. This type of procedure can save parties time and money associated with litigation.
Parties authorise a professional in their legal battle to fix the dispute in private judging. The parties retain the services of a private judge, who is frequently a former judge or an attorney. The parties present their cases to the judge in turn, and the judge issues a binding legal decision.
A private judge is appointed by the court. A private judge can help to move the case along more quickly and allow parties to avoid discussing personal business matters in public.