Mediation’s fundamental objective is to bring about the resolution of conflict. Above all else, mediation makes it possible for agreements to be reached, and for those agreements to be ones that the disputants find satisfactory. Another important, if secondary, objective of mediation is to improve and enhance the relationship between the parties. However, mediation has the potential to transform people’s lives, to give them both an increased sense of personal empowerment and a greater openness to and acceptance of the person seated on the other side of the table.
Arbitration is a dispute resolution process in which disputing parties present their case to a third party intermediary who examines the evidence and then makes a decision for the parties. Unlike mediation, which can be a cooperative process, arbitration is typically an adversarial one. Thus the parties assume they are working against each other and therefore, arbitration outcomes are seen as win-lose, not win-win.
However, parties often seek to resolve their disputes through arbitration because of a number of perceived potential advantages over judicial proceedings:
ü Arbitrators will take the time to listen to all the evidence, an advantage not always afforded in court.
ü Arbitration can be less expensive than litigating in court.
ü Arbitral proceedings are generally private.
ü The Arbitration process enjoys a greater degree of flexibility than the courts do.
ü Arbitration can oftentimes be faster than litigation.