Mediation as an Alternative Form of Dispute Resolution: Comparative-Legal Analysis
Keywords:Negotiations, judicial conciliation, mediation, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
The article under studies surveys the system of methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It presents the definition of such structural concepts of ADR as negotiations, mediation, judicial conciliation, and arbitration. Particular emphasis is laid on the peculiarities of applying the ADR institutions in Ukraine and European countries, as well as on their advantages and disadvantages.
To carry out a comparative-legal analysis of the alternative forms of dispute resolution, there has been developed a special system of indicators. The latter aims to assess the effectiveness of the ADR institutions.These indicators are: availability of the procedure; possibility to enter and leave the ADR process; public or private nature of the procedure; conciliatory and competitive nature of the procedure; conducting the procedure out of court or in court; presence of an intermediary in the ADR procedure; taking final decision on the dispute directly by the parties or a third party; freedom to choose a mediator in the dispute; substantiating the decision on the dispute on formal or informal norms, rules, standards; opportunity to go to court in case the decision is impossible to enforce; recognition of the dispute as the one being resolved; intermediary’s fee; cost and time saving.
Relying on the comparative-legal analysis of the alternative forms of dispute resolution, it has been determined that most of the comparative advantages belong to the institution of mediation. However, there are a number of shortcomings that hinder the effective functioning of the institution of mediation. Among them are insufficient requirements for the mediator's competencies and lack of mechanisms for fulfilling the terms of the mediation agreement.
Taking into account the existing drawbacks that hinder the effective development of the institution of mediation, the article offers a number of institutional innovations.They include: legislative establishment of the norm on the procedure of executing the mediation contract; enhancing the qualification requirements for the mediator (mandatory higher legal education); adoption of the law on mediation; consequently, introduction of amendments to material and procedural legislation regarding mediation procedure by means of remote (distance) regulation of legal disputes and actions that accompany this process with the use of special technical facilities (videoconferencing, electronic digital signature, electronic document management, electronic payments, etc.).
In addition, the article singles out the main peculiarity of the institution of mediation, which favorably distinguishes it from other ADR institutions - humanism (human-centrism). Unlike mediation, other ADR institutions (negotiations, judicial conciliation, arbitration) are marked with a factual and mostly competitive procedure. Mediation, due to its being rather human than factual oriented, as well as because of its being focused rather on conciliation than on competition, has a wider range of opportunities to better meet the requirements of the parties to the dispute. The main asset of mediation is its high potential to unite the parties, to continue their business and social communication after the resolution of the dispute. The latter integration potential favorably distinguishes mediation from all other forms of alternative dispute resolution and, at the same time, indicates positive external effect (externalia), which lies in uniting society.
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