Mediation is a flexible process. It is conducted confidentially with the help of a neutral third person who actively assists the parties to a dispute in working towards a negotiated agreement.
The parties are in ultimate control of the decision to settle the terms of resolution in mediation and it is up to the parties to devise solutions which may benefit all parties. This is particularly beneficial if there is the possibility of a continuing relationship between the parties.
In countries like the UK and the US, mediation is no longer simply an option. Courts in those countries expect parties to take the opportunity to mediate and it is anticipated that this will eventually become the case in South Africa.
Mediation can take place at any time – before the commencement of any court proceedings, or once proceedings have been instituted. Almost anything can be mediated if the parties are willing to try and settle a matter.
Mediation can be used for:
- workplace or employment problems
- neighbourhood disputes
- real estate claims
- small claims
- consumer disputes
- contractual disputes
- parenting plans