Mediation is one of the forms of Alternative dispute resolution. It is a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties by the intervention of a third party, who is called as the mediator. The mediator provides assistance to the parties to negotiate their own settlement. In certain exceptional cases, the mediators may express their perspective on what might be a reasonable settlement or judgment based on the facts of the case.
Stages of Mediation:
While mediation does not involve a formal procedure for dispute settlement, the process is more structured than people perceive it to be. A typical mediation process involves six stages.
Mediator's Opening Statement:
Once the disputants are seated at a table, the mediator makes a clear introduction about himself to the concerned parties. The mediator then explains the goals and rules of the mediation process and provides encouragement to both the parties involved to work in unison to arrive at a satisfactory settlement.
Disputants' Opening Statements:
Each party is required to elucidate in his own words, the material information n pertaining to the dispute .Also, the parties have to explain how the dispute is going to have an impact on them. They are also given a chance to provide some resourceful ideas to solve the disputes in a consensual manner.
The mediator may arrange for the direct exchange of views between the parties involved in the dispute. This time can be utilized for the determination of issues which are of prime importance.
The private caucus refers to the opportunity given to each party to meet privately with the mediator to have a conversation, to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of his or her position, and new ideas for settlement. The mediator is allowed caucus with each party just once or many times, as needed.
After caucuses, the mediator may arrange for a direct meeting between the parties, to come to a settlement.
This is the concluding stage in the process. If a consensus has been reached, the mediator may list down the main provisions in writing and the parties are supposed to pay attention. The mediator may ask each side to sign the written summary of agreement .