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Dispute Resolution Processes

Mediation
The generally accepted description of commercial mediation is a voluntary, non-binding, private dispute resolution process in which a neutral person (a Mediator) assists and facilitates the parties to reach a negotiated settlement. A core principle of mediation is that the parties control the outcome rather than a solution being imposed.

Conciliation
Conciliation is the intervention into a dispute by an acceptable, impartial, and neutral third-party (a Conciliator) who has no authoritative decision-making power but who assists and facilitates disputing parties voluntarily to reach their own mutually acceptable settlement of the issues in dispute. If parties fail to reach agreement the conciliator will evaluate the issues in dispute and put forward proposals for the settlement of the dispute in the form of a Recommendation.

Arbitration
Arbitration is a process whereby parties to a dispute agree to be bound by the decision of an independent third party (an Arbitrator). The role of an arbitrator is similar to that of a judge. An arbitrator is commonly an expert in the subject-matter of the dispute.

Adjudication
Adjudication is a method of settling disputes within a limited time period whereby an adjudicator uses its own knowledge and investigations, while weighing the evidence presented by the parties, to reach a decision that is legally binding until the dispute is referred to arbitration or litigation, or is settled between the parties themselves.

Expert Witness
Expert Witnesses provide impartial expert opinion evidence on matters which fall within their area of expertise. Their role is to assist the Court or other tribunals, such as Lands Tribunals, Arbitrators and Construction Adjudicators, Planning Inspectors, Mediators and others involved in alternative dispute resolution ADR.

Dispute Boards
A dispute board is a contractual mechanism for avoiding and/or resolving disputes without employing the cost and time needed in other dispute resolution processes such, as arbitration or litigation. Some dispute boards are like adjudication in process, whilst some more closely resemble conciliation.

Dispute Boards are formed at the beginning of projects before any disputes arises by selected appropriate experts who “shadow” a project in order to facilitate Dispute Avoidance, and in instances where a dispute does arise they provide a recommendation as to how the dispute can be resolved. If either party rejects the recommendation then the dispute will be referred to arbitration or litigation.

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