Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between arbitration and mediation

It is extremely common to be part of situations in which a unanimous opinion between two or more parties is not possible. There are different types of people in the world, coming from different parts, belonging to different cultures and religions and hence having different opinions, thoughts and ideas. Therefore, it is not always easy to settle on a mutually agreeable opinion or decision, be it a household, a mere firm, a partnership of 2 or more people or a large firm having a dozen directors piloting it. This is not that big a deal than the situation when there is a dispute or much undesirably, a fight. Not agreeing on one thing for a future decision is okay, but already having some issue at hand or a dispute which needs resolving becomes very difficult if it is here that the difference of opinion arises. However, there are certain methods that can be used to resolve an issue or a dispute provided that both parties agree to resort to it. Two of the very efficient and widely acceptable processes are arbitration and mediation. Both of them can resolve a given issue but they are not the same. They are different in the measures they take and the solution they suggest and must not be confused with each other.

Mediation, to begin with, is a form of ADR, that is, alternative dispute resolution and is often used in laws. It has some concrete effects and can be used to deal with an issue between two parties. To understand it in a simpler way, try to think that mediation, derived from medium, refers to the central path. This in turn implies that if two parties have a difference in opinion, than the solution is to use a mediate path if it suits the situation. This would mean that none of the parties get exactly what they want at the expense of the other, but neither of the party loses totally what they stand for. The mediate solution is such that both may be partially satisfied. To bring out such a mediate solution, a third party, known as the mediator needs to step in. The job of the third party is to negotiate a settlement between the first two. However, it must be taken care of that the mediator is neutral and not biased towards any of the two. He/she does not direct the process but in effect facilitates it.

On the other hand, arbitration is a way to resolve a dispute with the help of one or more persons who form a panel and are known as arbitrators. The two parties must agree beforehand that they will agree to the decision that the arbitrators(s) come up with. Again, the arbitrator should be neutral and should review the evidence and witnesses and use it to impose a decision that is enforceable in courts as well as legally binding for both sides.

Whereas in mediation the trial is stayed, or put on hold, it is replaced by arbitration in the latter way. Moving on, the third party involved also varies. Mediators are usually only one per case and need not have any form of legal training. In contrast, there may be one or more arbitrators and they too need not have legal training. The mediator merely facilitates the discussion and their decision may reach a result or remain deadlocked. However, an arbitrator renders a decision on the matter until the solution is reached.

Summary of differences expressed in points

1. Mediation-a form of ADR, that is, alternative dispute resolution, often used in laws; mediation, derived from medium, refers to the central path, this implies that if two parties have a difference in opinion, than the solution is to use a mediate path, none of the parties exactly get what they want at the expense of the other, but neither of the party loses totally what they stand for, facilitated by a mediator; Arbitration-to resolve a dispute with the help of one or more persons who form a panel and are known as arbitrators, the two parties must agree beforehand that they will agree to the decision that the arbitrators(s) come up with

2. In mediation the trial is stayed, or put on hold; it is replaced by arbitration in the latter way

3. There is one mediator; one or more arbitrators

4. Mediation may or may not reach a solution; arbitration usually does


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