Mediation is an informal dispute resolution method with the aim of reaching a decision where the parties will be able to maintain a relationship afterwards. The independent third party – known as a mediator – is not allowed to offer suggestions to the parties, but instead encourages the parties to come up with potential solutions. Because the atmosphere is informal, the parties are encouraged to co-operate. The entire process is voluntary, and decisions reached are not legally-binding.

Strengths of mediation

Mediation is significantly cheaper than going to trial, and its informal nature encourages a healthy compromise.

Weaknesses of mediation

Mediation requires voluntary cooperation between parties. If a party refuses to participate, or to reach a compromise, the parties may not come to a resolution. Additionally, mediation is inappropriate for situations where there is a clear power imbalance. If one party exerts dominance over another, the resolution reached may be unjust, and the mediator is powerless to impose any decision to rectify this injustice.

See also:



Judicial determination