Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution is a method of resolving conflicts between two parties without going to court. Disputes resolved this way are unofficial and confidential, which maintain the privacy of both parties. There are no rules and regulations involved, and parties can conduct a hearing at their own convenience.
The ADR solves many disputes of personal and business nature. People tend to solve their matters through this Alternative method so that they can avoid going to court. Resolutions of this natùre are not as costly as the court hearings and are quick. Over the years, there has been a tremendous increase in the types of Dispute Resolutions. More and more people are trying to find quick solutions to their injury claims, divorce matters, business deals, etc., through ADR.
Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution
There are four major types of Alternative Dispute Resolution. These are the ones that are most commonly used to resolve conflicts. These are mediation, arbitration, adjudication, and conciliation.
Mediation is the most common type of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Through this method, parties can avoid costly litigation. The most important aspect of mediation is that it is a voluntary process. Any of the conflict parties can walk away whenever they want. Thus mediation is not legally binding until both parties reach a resolution that both are willing to abide by. The mediation resolution becomes legally binding only if it is put in writing.
Role of Mediator
Mediation involves a Mediator who is a trained independent third party communicating between both parties in conflict. The role of the mediator is to reach a mutually agreeable settlement that would be acceptable for both parties.
Both parties choose a mediator who is legally trained and can provide valuable advice to both parties.
MIAM is a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting which is compulsory for the settlement of family issues. For example, a separating couple has to sit through this meeting before they can take their matters to court. The purpose of this mandatory meeting is to give awareness regarding the mediation process so that family disputes can be settled without the involvement of the court.
For employment disputes, conciliation is used for Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is a necessary process that an individual has to undergo if he or she decides to claim the employment tribunal.
Role of Conciliator
The third party here is the conciliator who tries to bring both parties to a mutual agreement to resolve the matter without court intervention. The conciliator provides the parties with arguments and opinions to achieve a conclusion. The conciliator doesn’t need any specific training. However, they should have some legal experience. The ACAS conciliators are specially trained to deal with employee and employer disputes.
The most formal type of Alternative Dispute Resolution is Arbitration. Here the dispute is solved by an arbitrator. The process of arbitration can be very useful for commercial issues where confidentiality is crucial, such as monetary issues or technical knowledge. The decisions of arbitration are binding, and both parties are liable to abide by them without the option of walking away. The arbitration deed is written, which can be used later in case of violation of the arbitration resolution.
Role of the Arbitrator
The arbitrator is a trained individual who should be experienced in legal matters. They play the part of an acting judge and listen to the arguments of both parties. The arbitrator is appointed by and independent third party. The arbitrator tries to bring collaboration of both conflicting parties upon a mutually agreeable decision.
Adjudication is a type of Alternative Dispute Resolution that is specific to construction contracts. The process is relatively formal including a written notification of adjudication containing brief description of the conflict, selection of a mutually agreed adjudicator, a referral notice, a response to the referral notice, and finally the decision of the adjudicator. The decision is final and binding for both parties.
Role of Adjudicator
The adjudicator reviews the conflict details presented by both parties and makes a diagnosis. Adjudication can be done by a single person or a team of adjudication. There can also be two adjudicators for the back of one. After the adjudicators reach a final decision, the case is closed. Both parties have to abide by it without walking away. Their determinations are also tested in labs, where they can be declared obsolete and new determinations have to be made all together.
The bottom line is that all kinds of conflicts can be resolved without having to go to the court. There are different types of Alternative Dispute Resolution for specific conflicts and issues. Some are binding and some are not binding and the parties have the liberty to walk away whenever they feel like it. Alternative Dispute Resolution saves money, time, energy and keeps the confidentiality of the conflicts. The process has been a relief for the burdened judiciary system of the country and saves multiple hearings and adjournments.