What does mediation mean? This is such an expansive question it depends entirely upon who you ask I would have thought.
A legal definition of mediation is, ‘Mediation is the process in which an impartial, neutral, third party (the Mediator) seeks to assist the parties to a dispute to reach an agreement on a mutually accepted solution, the Mediator guides them towards an acceptable solution, merely facilitating the process, but does not impose a solution upon the parties.’
The Mediator, will work hard with each party in dispute, helping them to understand better their own and the other person’s position, by clarifying points and exploring possible solutions. By so doing the parties improve their chances of working out a realistic solution.
The above is certainly a comprehensive description and explanation, however as a mediator I would simply define what does mediation mean as, it’s where an independent person (the mediator) facilitates between those who are in dispute, leading them to a solution.
If you asked the general public what mediation means the chances are the majority of them would not be able to tell you, as awareness about mediation is lacking or is very misinformed.
When people get into a dispute or have a legal issue, they automatically will think solicitor, court, litigation, they don’t know what mediation is, or the several benefits that it has, the same can be said about some solicitors who still do not know what mediation is, have misconceptions about it, or simply do know and do not as they are supposed to, refer their clients to it as the Civil Procedure Rules state.
However there are several solicitors who know exactly what mediation means, and its benefits and actively promote mediation, refer it to their clients and in fact are mediators themselves.
I have seen an increase over the years in solicitors that I have assessed on the Commercial Mediation training course, accredited through the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
So with so many differing views on what mediation does mean, take if you will, it is a cost effective, quick less stressful way of resolving a dispute of any nature.