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Alternative Dispute Resolution Essay

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Alternative Dispute Resolution Essay There are various ways of settling disputes without using the civil courts, these are knows as Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR which are used mainly in construction, family, commercial and employment issues. There are 3 main types of ADR: conciliation, mediation and arbitration, this essay will explore how they work and what is involved in each process. Mediation A mediator, a neutral third person is appointed to help both parties reach an agreement, which they will both find acceptable, already we can see an advantage over court hearings because in court hearing only one person can win fully, whereas in mediation both parties gain, or lose less than they would in court. The mediator will try to see similarities between the wills of each of the parties and use this to encourage an agreement both the parties will like. In mediation however, the parties are not controlled, the mediator has no real power; the parties themselves must make the decision, though advice is given and accepted freely. There is a more formal side of mediation known as a Formalised Settlement Conference. This is sometimes called a 'mini trial', in which a panel consisting of an executive decision maker from either side of the case, and a small neutral party which will look at the position of each side and try to make a settlement. ...read more.


The decision or 'award' of the arbitrator, unlike other forms of ADR is infact legally binding and if not followed will be enforced through the courts. Advantages of Arbitration Disadvantages of Arbitration *Hearing time and place decided by parties. *Parties chose own arbitrator. *Expert arbitrators save time and expense of expert witnesses. *Flexible procedure so parties can chose best suiting one. *Privately dealt with. *Final, enforced award. *Cheaper than court. * No legal aid. * A large legal point shouldn't be dealt with by arbitrators * Professional fees can be expensive * Delays for employment issues are nearly as large as court delays. * Mediations form, Centre for Dispute Resolution is often used due to large delays. Tribunals These operate alongside the court system, and are nonetheless a very important part of the legal system. Tribunals are used instead of court hearings. There are many different types of tribunal such as social security tribunal, rent tribunal, mental health review tribunals and employment tribunals. Most tribunals consist of a panel of 3 people, a legally qualified chairman and 2 lay members with expertise in the field of the tribunal, both parties will be given a chance to make their points and legal aid is not allowed. ...read more.


Cases often have to be adjurned due to a expert not turning up and suchlike. Whereas in ADR the parties generally talk to each other and so do not need to explain technicalities to others, and also in tribunals there can be specified tribunals in which at least 1 member of the panel is qualified in the field of the dispute, this is clearly a major advantage on time, effort and money. In a court cases, because the parties do not very often agree with the decision it becomes a hard thing to force parties to pay damages etc. Of course all decisions made by a judge in court are legally binding but it can still be difficult to make a person or party who considers theirselves innocent to pay for something. This can lead to further disputes, taking more time and money and making the parties enemies even moreso, further damaging relations. In ADR both parties respect the decision and so allthough not legally binding it isn't difficult to enforce and relations are mainly undamaged. In evaluation ADR, allthough not allways legally binding is an important part of the civil legal system, being quicker, cheaper and lessss confusing for 'lay' people than the courts themselves. ...read more.

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