Mediation Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Mediation, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Mediation?

(n) Mediation is the process of settling a dispute by intervention of a third party, to reach an amicable solution for the dispute, considering the stance and validity of claims of the parties, extend up to which each of the party is ready to oblige or compromise etc. Mediator do not have judicial authority of an arbitrator as the process is a conciliation activity. Mediation is in effect a reconciliation of disputes.

History and Meaning of Mediation

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that has been used for centuries. Historically, elders and community leaders would mediate disputes between individuals and groups to avoid costly and protracted legal battles. Today, mediation is a widely recognized process for resolving disputes in a variety of contexts, including divorce, employment, and business disputes.

In mediation, a neutral and impartial third party, known as the mediator, facilitates a negotiation between the parties to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. The mediator does not take sides or make a decision on behalf of the parties, but rather helps them communicate effectively and address their underlying interests and concerns.

Examples of Mediation

  1. Divorce Mediation: When a couple decides to divorce, they may engage in mediation to reach agreements on issues such as custody, support, and property division, rather than going to court. A mediator can help the parties avoid the emotional and financial costs of a litigated divorce.

  2. Workplace Mediation: When there is a conflict between employees or between an employee and employer, mediation can be used to resolve the dispute. The mediator can help identify the underlying issues, facilitate communication and negotiation, and help the parties find a solution that works for everyone.

  3. Commercial Mediation: When businesses are in a dispute over contracts, partnerships, or other issues, mediation can be used to reach a resolution that avoids expensive litigation. The mediator can help the parties preserve their ongoing relationships and avoid damage to their reputations.

Legal Terms Similar to Mediation

  1. Arbitration: Another form of ADR where a neutral third party makes a binding decision on the dispute after hearing evidence from each party.

  2. Conciliation: A process similar to mediation where a third party helps the parties communicate and reach an agreement, but may also make recommendations or propose solutions.

  3. Negotiation: The process of trying to reach agreement between two or more parties through discussion and compromise, without the involvement of a neutral third party.