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Mediation, which is encouraged by the Courts, is an effective form of dispute resolution that members can utilise to help resolve disputes quickly and cost effectively without the need to go to court. BESA provide members with an in-house mediation service designed to help members resolve disputes quickly and cost effectively whilst maintaining confidentiality.
Mediation is intended to be a quick, cheap and private way for individuals or businesses to settle their disputes. The process involves an independent third party, who will work with the parties to facilitate a mutually acceptable resolution to the dispute. The parties will provide written statements to the mediator, they will come together with the mediator to air their differences, and then the mediator will engage with the parties individually to further identify the real areas of disagreement and the most important points for each party.
The mediator will keep any information revealed to them confidential and cannot disclose anything to the other side, unless they have permission to do so. But with his/her knowledge of the dispute he/she will help to move the parties towards a constructive resolution. The mediation is usually accomplished by the parties attending a neutral venue together; however, it can also be conducted by telephone or correspondence.
Whilst mediation is a voluntary process, the courts encourage parties to consider methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’) - including mediation - before they commit to litigation. If a party unreasonably refuses to mediate, and the matter proceeds to court, they may face cost sanctions. As mediation remains an option both before and during trial, the parties should continue to assess the benefits of mediation. If mediation becomes a more viable option, it should be undertaken.
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