The Global Trend
Factors for increasing popularity of Mediation
Factors for increasing popularity of Mediation
The global trend of resolving disputes through mediation has been on the rise in recent years. Mediation offers parties an alternative and collaborative approach to resolving conflicts, promoting effective communication, and fostering mutually acceptable solutions. Several key factors contribute to the increasing popularity of mediation worldwide:
Efficiency: Mediation is often faster and more time-efficient compared to traditional litigation or arbitration processes. It allows parties to address their issues promptly and reach a resolution without prolonged court proceedings.
Cost-effectiveness: Mediation tends to be more cost-effective than litigation or arbitration. It eliminates many of the expenses associated with formal legal proceedings, such as court fees, attorney fees, and expert witness fees.
Flexibility and control: Mediation gives parties more control over the outcome and allows for creative and tailored solutions. It provides a flexible and confidential environment where parties can openly discuss their concerns and interests.
Preserving relationships: Mediation focuses on finding mutually agreeable solutions, which can help preserve relationships between the parties involved. This is particularly valuable in ongoing business relationships, family disputes, or community conflicts.
Confidentiality: Mediation offers a confidential setting where parties can freely express their views and explore potential resolutions without fear of public disclosure. This confidentiality can encourage open and honest dialogue.
Enhanced compliance: Studies show that parties are more likely to comply with mediated settlements compared to imposed court judgments or arbitration awards. The collaborative nature of mediation can foster a greater sense of ownership and commitment to the agreed-upon outcome.
Access to justice: Mediation provides a more accessible and inclusive means of resolving disputes. It allows individuals and businesses of varying resources and cultural backgrounds to participate in the process, promoting equal access to justice.
Promotion of peace and harmony: Mediation promotes peaceful and amicable resolution of conflicts. It encourages parties to understand each other's perspectives, find common ground, and work towards mutually beneficial outcomes. This can contribute to overall social harmony and reduce the burden on already overloaded court systems.
The global trend towards resolving disputes through mediation is evidenced by the increasing adoption of mediation in various legal systems, international organizations, and community settings. Mediation is now recognized and supported by national legislation, international conventions, and institutional frameworks, further reinforcing its status as an effective and preferred method of dispute resolution.
As societies continue to seek more efficient, cost-effective, and collaborative approaches to resolving conflicts, the global trend of utilizing mediation is likely to persist and expand in the years to come.
Global e-commerce is growing at a rate of 20% per year. There were more than 50 billion e-commerce purchases globally in 2017, which means that in 2018 there will be 60 billion or more. Studies have shown that approximately 1% to 3% of e-commerce transactions generate a dispute, so that means there were about 1 billion global e-commerce disputes in 2017, and that number will continue to grow at the same rate as e-commerce grows.
Large e-commerce marketplaces have responded to this growth in disputes by building their own redress processes. In 2004, eBay launched the Resolution Center, which has since resolved hundreds of millions of disputes. Similarly, the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba also has an ODR-based resolution process that processes an even greater volume of cases. Even sharing economy companies like Airbnb and Upwork have integrated Resolution Centers into their marketplaces to provide quick and efficient resolutions to any problems that arise. And not all redress processes look the same: the TaoBao online marketplace in China has resolved millions of disputes through a crowdsourced resolution process which utilizes online juries.
But relying on each individual marketplace to build effective redress is not enough. Many e-commerce transactions take place outside of large marketplaces, and individual merchants do not have the resources to build robust ODR systems. National consumer protection authorities have dealt with consumer complaints regarding cross-border e-commerce purchases since the late 1990s, but they had no effective way to pursue these cases to resolution. As a result, momentum has built behind international proposals to deploy ODR to assist consumers in these kinds of cases. International organizations have promoted ODR as a solution to access to justice challenges since 2002. UNCITRAL, the United Nations organization in charge of harmonizing global laws, convened a working group devoted to ODR with more than 66 participating national delegations, and the group issued its final recommendations in 2016.
In Europe, the number of private and public ODR start-ups has grown steadily. Certain countries have led the way as early adopters (e.g., England, The Netherlands), but now the more conservative governments on the continent are following suit.1 In 2015, the EU adopted a new regulation requiring all merchants in EU member states to notify their consumers about the availability of ODR, and the EU launched its own ODR filing form to collect buyer complaints and distribute them to regionally appropriate ODR service providers. An excellent example of the expansion of dispute resolution in Europe is the Directive 2008/52/CE de le Parlement Européen et de Conseil de 21 Marz, 2008,2 which made mediation mandatory in EU member states in certain cases such as torts and contract disputes, where the parties were from different countries. Now, the International Standards Organization is evaluating a proposal to make ODR a de facto standard for all international e-commerce transactions.
The momentum behind ODR appears to be growing around the world. Those who have seriously considered the problem of access to justice, especially for high-volume/low-value cross-jurisdictional disputes, have come to the conclusion that ODR is the best option for the future. Judges, Bar Association presidents, regulators, general counsels and legal aid attorneys are all confronting shrinking budgets, growing numbers of self-represented litigants and changing expectations among the constituencies they are trying to serve. The track record that ODR has already achieved in a wide variety of global applications is encouraging them to think seriously about how ODR can work in their home geographies.3 With all of this momentum, it is clear that ODR’s time has truly arrived.
Family Disputes Treands
The current scenario of family disputes and resolution through mediation highlights the increasing popularity and effectiveness of this alternative dispute resolution method. Mediation offers a more collaborative and cooperative approach to resolving family conflicts, focusing on open communication, mutual understanding, and reaching mutually agreeable solutions. Here are some key aspects of the current scenario:
Rising Demand for Mediation: There is a growing recognition among individuals and families that mediation can provide a more constructive and less adversarial way of resolving family disputes. Many couples and families are choosing mediation as a preferred method to address issues such as divorce, child custody, visitation rights, property division, and financial matters.
Court Emphasis on Mediation: Courts and legal systems in many jurisdictions encourage or even mandate mediation before proceeding to litigation. Mediation is seen as an effective way to alleviate the burden on the court system and promote timely and efficient resolution of family disputes.
Benefits of Mediation: Mediation offers several advantages in family dispute resolution. It allows parties to maintain control over the outcome, promotes a more amicable and cooperative environment, and fosters better long-term relationships, especially in cases involving ongoing co-parenting responsibilities. Mediation also tends to be more cost-effective and time-efficient compared to traditional litigation.
Mediation Techniques and Approaches: Mediators employ various techniques and approaches to facilitate productive discussions and help parties find common ground. They create a safe and neutral space for open communication, actively listen to each party's concerns, help identify underlying interests, and guide the parties toward mutually beneficial solutions.
Supportive Role of Mediators: Mediators play a crucial role in guiding the mediation process, ensuring fairness, and maintaining a balanced power dynamic. They are trained professionals who help parties navigate complex emotional and legal issues, facilitate effective communication, and assist in developing mutually acceptable agreements.
Customized Solutions: Mediation allows for customized and tailored solutions that suit the unique needs and circumstances of each family. Parties have the opportunity to explore creative options and work together to develop agreements that are both practical and sustainable in the long term.
Confidentiality and Privacy: Mediation provides a confidential and private environment where parties can openly discuss their concerns and interests without fear of public exposure. This confidentiality helps promote a more open and honest dialogue, fostering trust and cooperation between the parties.
The current scenario reflects a positive shift towards using mediation as an effective and preferred method for resolving family disputes. Mediation enables families to maintain control over their decisions, focus on collaborative problem-solving, and work towards mutually satisfactory outcomes. It offers a more supportive and respectful approach to navigating the complexities of family conflicts.