Mediation involves an independent third party, the mediator, who helps people to agree a solution when there is a disagreement. The mediator helps parties work out what their issues and options are, then use those options to work out an agreement.Mediation is a flexible process that can be used to settle disputes in a whole range of situations such as:
- Planning and Environment
With the help of the mediator, the parties with the dispute decide whether they can resolve things and what the solution should be. The mediator does not take sides or make judgements. The mediator will ensure that both parties get a chance to state their case, hear the other side, work through the issues that are important to them and make an agreement. Parties in mediation are in control of the solution.
Mediation is a voluntary process and only takes place if both parties agree that they want to find a solution. It is a confidential process where the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing. If parties are unable to reach agreement, they can still go to court if appropriate. The details of what went on in the mediation will not usually be disclosed or used at a court hearing. The costs of mediation are usually shared by the parties in dispute.
Mediation can be used in many circumstances. Mediators train and specialise in specific practice areas.
If you are unsure if your dispute fits into any of these areas, or would like further information, please contact the Scottish Mediation Helpline on 0131 556 8118.