What is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that is an alternative to court proceedings and legal hearings. The dispute is resolved by those who are parties to the dispute, with the help of a third party playing the role of the mediator rather than by a judge. The Cambridge Dictionary (2019) defines mediation as “the process by which someone tries to end a disagreement by helping the two sides to talk about and agree on a solution”. Mediation is a negotiation process facilitated by a mediator. There is a difference between negotiation and mediation; any negotiation between the disputants without involving a mediator is just negotiation and not mediation. In mediation, the authority of decision making is with the parties with themselves, while in arbitration and litigation, a third party impose the decision because the parties are unable to find out a solution for their dispute.
What is Arbitration
Arbitration is the process of resolving a dispute by an arbitrator appointed by the disputants. The arbitrator hears the evidence brought by both sides and makes a decision, which is usually binding on the parties. Arbitration is “a mini-trial, which may be for a lawsuit ready to go to trial, held in an attempt to avoid a court trial and conducted by a person or a panel of people who are not judges” (Hill and Hill, 2019).
Litigation, according to the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation “civil litigation typically involves a defendant facing off against a plaintiff before either a judge or a judge and jury” (Harvard Law School, 2019). In litigation, the court hears all parties of the case and make their decision based on the law and parties evidence submitted before the Court.