An alternative to court proceedings and legal action

In mediation proceedings, the conflicting parties engage an impartial arbitrator who supports them in finding a self-determined, amicable solution to their dispute. Distinguishing characteristics of mediation are

  • that it is an extrajudicial, voluntary process,
  • that communication is fair and directly face-to-face, and
  • that the conflicting parties themselves develop the final arrangement in the form of a binding agreement that can be enforced if necessary.

In our view, the mediation process provides a contemporary method of self-directed conflict resolution. Notably, the process is based on evidence from conflict research and communication science. It makes it possible to experience a conflict as beneficial because it assists in effectively settling existing problems. Mediation leads to “tailored”, value-adding solutions that are perceived as a success by all participants (win-win solutions).

The core element of mediation is a structured process. It serves as a safe framework for the conflicting parties within which to explore their dispute.