so what is it?
ADR is short for ‘alternative dispute resolution’. It's about settling disputes.
The “alternative” bit means because its an alternative to going to Court to settle the matter.
it's a process
It's a formal process where the dispute is considered by an independent and impartial third party (usually called an arbitrator, adjudicator, or a mediator). The third party considers the facts of a dispute , discusses the dispute with the parties and then makes a decision, offers a view, or helps the parties to come to a mutually acceptable agreement.
types of ADR
There are different forms of ADR.
Adjudication and Arbitration use an impartial outsider to decide between two claims. The adjudicator or arbitrator acts like a judge, making a firm decision on a case. The two sides of the dispute will normally agree in advance whether the adjudicator/ arbitrator's decision will be legally binding upon them or not.
Conciliation and mediation
With conciliation and mediation, the impartial mediator( or conciliator) will facilitate an agreement, encouraging the parties involved to come to a mutually acceptable compromise. If both parties reach agreement they will usually sign a settlement agreement to set out the terms of the agreement. Their signatures to the agreement, makes it legally binding and the agreement can be enforced at court if necessary, in the same way as adjudication or arbitration decisions.
who can initiate ADR
Either the customer or the trader, can request ADR in consumer disputes. In commercial disputes, likewise, either party can suggest ADR. In fact in some industries ADR is standard. ADR is, or should, also be written into both consumer and commercial contracts.
there are regulations
For consumer disputes, there are regulations from Europe that must be observed. See our blog post on ADR Regulations 2015.
Any questions or comments, leave below. and if we can help you with mediation, get in touch.
Roberta Mason is a mediator. She was a solicitor for over 20 years and knows a thing of two about disputes and going to court. She has a real sense of social justice for ordinary people and small business owners