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Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution

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Introduction

´╗┐Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution (ADR). Often using the civil and criminal courts to resolve a dispute can be very costly and time consuming, whilst also being traumatic for the parties concerned. As court proceedings are public affairs there may also be a lack of privacy whilst court proceedings may not always lead to a satisfactory outcome. Therefore, there have been significant steps taken by both government and independent reports such as the ?Woolf report? encouraging the use of ADR. Methods of dispute resolution; Negotiation; Parties themselves. Mediation; Parties with aid of neutral 3rd party. Conciliation Parties with aid of neutral 3rd party who will play an active role in suggesting a solution. Arbitration; Parties agree to let a 3rd party make a binding decision. Negotiation; A private meeting between the two individuals concerned where they seek to resolve the dispute. However, if a settlement cannot be reached the parties may use solicitors who will continue negotiation on behalf of their client. ...read more.

Middle

Advantages of this procedure include many issues are often ‘narrowed-down’ resulting in the inevitable court case to be shorter. Similarly in a business dispute it would be better to reach a settlement out of court, so as to continue future business dealings with one another. It is often said about mediation that, “Everyone wins”. The “London Centre for Dispute Resolution” counts among its members, many of the capital’s big law firms and many significant multinational corporations. Businesses say that using the centre has saved them thousands in court costs. Typical mediation service costs around £1500, whereas court costs can amount to £80,000+. The centre claims that 80% of cases it dealt with are resolved, whilst the remaining 20% have their issues significantly narrowed-down resulting in a shorter court hearing. However, as with other ADR, there is guarantee of a case being resolved. Conciliation; Similar to mediation except that the neutral 3rd party will play a more active role in suggesting a solution to resolve a dispute. ...read more.

Conclusion

Increasingly, arbitrators are experts in the field in dispute, e.g. a lawyer will often preside over a case involving a point of law. The time and place of hearing can also be chosen at the discretion of the parties in consultation with the arbitrator. This adds to the freedom and flexibility afforded to parties. The actual procedure varies greatly due to the freedom given for ADR. The most common procedure is paper arbitration, which involves the parties submitting written relevant points of the case on which basis the arbitrator will reach a decision. However, this may be followed by a hearing where the parties and witnesses will make oral submissions in the presence of the arbitrator. Advantages & Disadvantages of Arbitration; + Cheap, quick and private. + Arbitrator can be chosen, so an expert in the field in dispute may be selected. + time and place of hearing can be chosen by the parties. + Decision is binding and enforceable by the courts. - Limited rights of appeal. - Professional arbitrator fees can be expensive. ...read more.

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