Mediation vs. Conciliation

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Mediation and Conciliation is that the Mediation is a dispute resolution by negotiation with a third-party moderator and Conciliation is a alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process.

  • Mediation

    Mediation is a dynamic, structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. Mediation is a “party-centered” process in that it is focused primarily upon the needs, rights, and interests of the parties. The mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution. A mediator is facilitative in that she/he manages the interaction between parties and facilitates open communication. Mediation is also evaluative in that the mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms (“reality-testing”), while refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties (e.g., “You should do… .”).

    Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters.

    The term “mediation” broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable and dynamics that “ordinary” negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process. Mediation is becoming a more peaceful and internationally accepted solution in order to end conflict. Mediation can be used to resolve disputes of any magnitude.

    The term “mediation,” however, due to language as well as national legal standards and regulations is not identical in content in all countries but rather has specific connotations and there are quite some differences between Anglo-Saxon definitions and other countries, especially countries with a civil, statutory law tradit.: Embedding Mediation and Dispute Resolution into Statutory Civil Law: The Example of Germany; in: Ian Macduff (ed.): Essays on Mediation – Dealing with Disputes in the 21st Century; Alphen aan den Rijn 2016, chapter 12 (pp. 177 – 192). Trenczek, T., Berning, D., Lenz, C. (2013) (in German) Mediation und Konfliktmanagement: Handbuch, Baden-Baden, Nomos Publishing House, p. 23.

    Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue and empathy between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator’s skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications and licensing followed, producing trained, professional mediators committed to the discipline.

  • Conciliation

    Conciliation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process whereby the parties to a dispute use a conciliator, who meets with the parties both separately and together in an attempt to resolve their differences. They do this by lowering tensions, improving communications, interpreting issues, encouraging parties to explore potential solutions and assisting parties in finding a mutually acceptable outcome.

    Conciliation differs from arbitration in that the conciliation process, in and of itself, has no legal standing, and the conciliator usually has no authority to seek evidence or call witnesses, usually writes no decision, and makes no award.

    Conciliation differs from mediation in that in conciliation, often the parties are in need of restoring or repairing a relationship, either personal or business.

  • Mediation (noun)

    Negotiation to resolve differences conducted by some impartial party.

  • Mediation (noun)

    The act of intervening for the purpose of bringing about a settlement.

  • Conciliation (noun)

    The process of bringing peace and harmony; the ending of strife.

  • Conciliation (noun)

    A form of alternative dispute resolution, similar to but less formal than mediation, in which the parties bring their dispute to a neutral third party, who helps lower tensions, improve communications and explore possible solutions.

  • Conciliation (noun)

    the action of stopping someone being angry; placation

    “he held his hands up in a gesture of conciliation”

  • Conciliation (noun)

    the action of mediating between two disputing people or groups

    “many disputes are settled through conciliation by the official body”

Oxford Dictionary

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