Mediation is a form of conflict intervention in which the mediator or mediation team assists the parties in their negotiations to help them reach a result, based on their individual interests, that is the best possible outcome for each party and that enjoys the support of all parties. The joint solution is documented in a settlement agreement between the parties.
Mediation involves the resolution of a conflict through negotiations and conciliation. Mediation is most appropriate when the parties are prepared to look for a solution together and want to maintain their relationship, or stop it from deteriorating further. This can be the case, for instance, if the parties involved have a long-term business relationship; then renegotiation is often preferable to ending the contract. Another common situation is where parties have shared interests as well as conflicting interests: for example, reducing losses, avoiding publicity or completing the project as soon as possible. The first step is to list all the interests of the parties involved, doing so in a cooperative spirit (something the mediator in particular can achieve). Those interests do not just have to relate to the conflict; they can also include the parties’ future relationship, which often helps create an opening for a wider range of options.
It is not the mediator’s task to impose a binding ruling concerning the conflict on the parties involved. The parties themselves are responsible for finding a solution, which means they remain in control throughout the mediation.
There are a number of other advantages to using mediation. First, mediation is a relatively fast, cheap option. ITDR’s experience in recent years has shown that nearly every ICT mediation can reach settlement within weeks. A precondition for successful mediation is that the parties cooperate of their own free will and that they remain responsible for the solution. 92% of the ICT mediation cases reported to and dealt with by ITDR resulted in a successful outcome (that is, a signed settlement agreement).
The mediation procedure always starts with an ‘Application’. The request can be submitted by just one of the parties, but it is also possible for the parties involved in the dispute to submit a joint request. The request can be recorded in a basic letter. You will find a basic model below to help you in compiling an application. This model is for an application for ICT mediation submitted by one of the parties to the dispute.