What is Mediation?

Jennifer KeatonMediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or “appropriate dispute resolution”, aims to assist two (or more) disputants in reaching an agreement. The parties themselves determine the conditions of any settlements reached— rather than accepting something imposed by a third party. The disputes may involve states, organizations, communities, individuals or other representatives with a vested interest in the outcome.

Mediation, in a broad sense, consists of a cognitive process of reconciling mutually interdependent, opposed terms as what one could loosely call “an interpretation” or “an understanding of”. The German philosopher Hegel uses the term ‘dialectical unity’ to designate such thought-processes. This article discusses the legal communications usage of the term. Other Wikipedia articles, such as Critical Theory, treat other usages or “senses” of the term “mediation,” as for example cultural and biological.

Mediators use appropriate techniques and/or skills to open and/or improve dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement (with concrete effects) on the disputed matter. Normally, all parties must view the mediator as impartial. Disputants may use mediation in a variety of disputes, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters. A third-party representative may contract and mediate between (say) unions and corporations. When a workers’ union goes on strike, a dispute takes place, and the corporation hires a third party to intervene in attempt to settle a contract or agreement between the union and the corporation.

Mediation is the only way assisted by one third, which promotes freedom of choice of protagonists in a conflict.

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One Response to What is Mediation?

  1. jkeaton says:

    I am pleased to receive your message. I am unfamiliar with your cause, but am open to learning more about your needs.

    Best regards,
    Jennifer Keaton

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