“To educate, promote and create awareness of mediation as an effective alternative to adversarial systems”
Over the last two decades, the legal system has witnessed a revolution of sorts. Known for its adversarial treatment of all disputes, it has embraced a consensual method whereby parties in dispute work with a neutral to find a settlement that they can both accept.
Mediation is the fastest growing dispute resolution remedy worldwide, clocking exponential growth in different countries for a large spectrum of disputes. In India, it has grown by leaps and bounds in the last dozen years. The judiciary has firmly accepted it as a desirable method for dispute resolution. The Supreme Court and High Courts have set up their in-house mediation centers with trained lawyers acting as mediators. Judges routinely refer cases to these centers in large numbers, and a significant number of successful agreements are recorded.
With legislation recognizing and promoting this consensual method of dispute resolution, and enforcing agreements reached by this process, mediation has become an integral part of the legal landscape of dispute resolution.
Mediation is appropriate for a wide range of business and commercial disputes. Its benefits are manifold:
- Substantial savings in cost and time;
- Avoiding further damage to relationships, and sometimes restoring them;
- A focus on getting viable and practical solutions – sometimes these can be creative ones, even an out of the box brainwave – at the very least, enabling parties to cut their losses;
- It respects confidentiality, so sensitive matters do not receive public glare.
- Railroad worker accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Rental car accidents
- Underage drinking accidents
Legal provisions (under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996) make mediation agreements enforceable without difficulty. It is a process virtually without risk, because any party can terminate it before an agreement is reached, and because the mediator cannot impose a decision unlike a judge or arbitrator. The process is designed to enable parties to take control of their dispute, participate in its resolution, and avoid the delay and backlogs of the Court.
Mediation is a good first-try method, before going into arbitration or litigation; but it can be used even while in those processes. The recent Global Pound Conference conducted a worldwide survey of stakeholders focused on commercial disputes. Held in 50 countries across the globe, with thousands of participants from diverse backgrounds – corporate and other commercial users, judges, lawyers, government, academics, and mediators. The worldwide poll showed consistent results from across the globe. The most significant one was that users wanted to have litigative and non-litigative options; they wanted advice from their lawyers not just on how to take matters to Court but also on how the dispute could be settled.
No matter what the complexity and stakes of the dispute, mediation helps. Increasingly it is being made use of when the stakes are large, because an adverse verdict can do much damage, and continued litigation means open- ended cost, time and risk.
Mediators India is a national association of Indian mediators. Formed as a Society, it has on its Governing Body many of the country’s leading mediators representing the States where mediation has gained ground. The Association brings together all stakeholders in mediation – mediators and service providers, corporate and other users, judiciary and law firms, other institutions and academia,with the following among other objectives:
- To provide a forum for MEDIATORS and all others interested in mediation and engaging in conflict resolution
- To educate, promote and create awareness of mediation as an effective alternative to adversarial systems
- To collaborate and affiliate with international bodies and organizations for enhancement of learning and developing innovative problem-solving methodologies in the area of mediation
- To work towards establishing standards of ethics for mediators