Mediation, arbitration and amicable resolution of disputes
“Mediation” means a proceeding by which the parties attempt to reach, through a neutral third person (mediator), an amicable settlement of a dispute arising out of or relating to a contractual or other legal relationship, irrespective of whether for this proceeding the term mediation, conciliation, reconciliation, mediation of disputes or other similar term is used (Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Mediation in Civil and Commercial Matters Act, Official Gazette of the RS, no. 56/2008).
Mediation is an informal, non-binding, confidential and structured process where an impartial third party (mediator) assists the parties in reaching an amicable solution of a (legal) dispute through agreements, negotiations and special mediation techniques.
Through its activities, the mediator facilitates the parties to reach an agreement that resolves the dispute and re-regulates mutual rights and obligations, especially in terms of the future cooperation of the disputants.
RAZDEVŠEK MEDIATION CENTRE
The Law Firm has many years of experience in mediation. Lawyer Breda Razdevšek has been a mediator with the Ljubljana District Court since 2005. In 2019, Blažka Vrsajković, a trainee solicitor, also became a mediator. In the process of mediation, we help to develop solutions to problems in a structured process. We also boast many years of experience in mediating commercial disputes.
Preventive legal services are important for the Law Firm, as we strive to avoid lengthy court proceedings by drafting agreements. If an amicable solution is not possible, the Law Firm pursues the interests of the parties in court and arbitration proceedings in civil and commercial law matters as well as in related fields, in particular in the field of employment, mutual assistance procedures and enforcement matters. We are experienced in handling international cases.
In this stage, the mediator explains to the parties the concept of mediation, highlights the principles of the mediation procedure, sees to it that powers of attorney are checked and clarifies the role of the mediator as well as the rules of procedure and the possibility of separate meetings. Before the next stage starts, the mediator inquires of the parties if they are still willing to cooperate (renewal of consents). The introductory meeting is an opportunity for the mediator to verify if the information obtained in preparations for mediation is correct and determine the framework of the process. Following the parties’ statements, the mediator must comprehend the issue of dispute and the extent to which the problems need to be addressed. After the first meeting, the mediator should already know if the parties have any other disputes, if they want to resolve them together and what they would like to achieve. The mediator will learn about the background of the disputes later, when the parties present their positions and especially through separate discussions with the parties.
In this stage, the views of the parties and their stories are presented. Large differences of opinion on the subject of the dispute are common. The primary task of the mediator is to establish communication between the parties. In the beginning, the disputants have strong emotions and may experience hurt feelings, leading to the present behaviour. The mediator must, by use of mediation techniques, separate the person from the problem, otherwise communication is not possible. Then follows the first part of the research stage – establishing the facts, followed by the second part of the research stage – identifying the interests, wishes, needs, concerns and fears of the parties.
The outcome of the research stage is an inventory of interests of both parties, possibly providing a basis to compile a list of common interests or different but compatible interests of the disputants.
After the completion of the research phase, the mediation process is at a turning point. Before proceeding further, it is necessary to answer three questions:
- Are all the facts known?
- Are all the interests known?
- Are the parties willing to accept themselves as negotiators?
If the answers are affirmative, the negotiation stage follows.
First, it is necessary to identify possible solutions to the matter or dispute. The proposed options are considered as joint options, regardless of which party proposes a particular option. A list of possible solutions is prepared. In the next cycle of the negotiations, this list is used to select the possible solutions. It is about finding answers to questions referring to the wishes of both parties and about what one party can offer the other in order to fulfil its interest.
The final stage of the mediation process is the stage where a draft agreement or arrangement is prepared, and the final wording is written down by the parties, if an agreement has been reached.
Advantages of mediation
- quick resolution of the dispute
- lower costs
- greater probability of further cooperation between the parties
The main advantage of mediation is that it is faster compared to court proceedings. It is possible to settle a dispute at the first mediation meeting.