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Legal Dictionary

mediation

Legal Definition of mediation

Noun

  1. The most popular form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), mediation involves the appointment of a mediator who acts as a facilitator assisting the parties in communicating, essentially negotiating a settlement. The mediator does not adjudicate the issues in dispute or to force a compromise; only the parties, of their own volition, can shift their position in order to achieve a settlement. The result of a successful mediation is called a "settlement."

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Definition of mediation

Etymology

    From Late Latin mediātiō (perhaps via Middle French mediation/mediacion) from mediārī ("intervene") from Latin medius ("middle").

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -eɪʃǝn

Noun

mediation (plural mediations)

  1. negotiation to resolve differences conducted by some impartial party.
  2. the act of intervening for the purpose of bringing about a settlement.

Related terms

See also

Further reading

Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or "appropriate dispute resolution", aims to assist two (or more) disputants in reaching an agreement. The parties themselves determine the conditions of any settlements reached- rather than accepting something imposed by a third party. The disputes may involve (as parties) states, organizations, communities, individuals or other representatives with a vested interest in the outcome.

Mediation, in a broad sense, consists of a cognitive process of reconciling mutually interdependent, opposed terms as what one could loosely call "an interpretation" or "an understanding of". The German philosopher Hegel uses the term 'dialectical unity' to designate such thought-processes. This article discusses the legal communications usage of the term. Other Wikipedia articles, such as Critical Theory, treat other usages or "senses" of the term "mediation," as for example cultural and biological.

Mediators use appropriate techniques and/or skills to open and/or improve dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement (with concrete effects) on the disputed matter. Normally, all parties must view the mediator as impartial. Disputants may use mediation in a variety of disputes, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters. A third-party representative may contract and mediate between (say) unions and corporations. When a workers' union goes on strike, a dispute takes place, and the corporation hires a third party to intervene in attempt to settle a contract or agreement between the union and the corporation.

Mediation is the only way assisted by one third, which promotes freedom of choice of protagonists in a conflict.

History of mediation

The activity of mediation in itself appeared in very ancient times. Historians presume early cases in Phoenician commerce (but suppose its use in Babylon, too). The practice developed in Ancient Greece (which knew the non-marital mediator as a proxenetas), then in Roman civilization, (Roman law, starting from Justinian's Digest of 530 - 533 CE) recognized mediation. The Romans called mediators by a variety of names, including internuncius, medium, intercessor, philantropus, interpolator, conciliator, interlocutor, interpres, and finally mediator.

Some cultures regarded the mediator as a sacred figure, worthy of particular respect; and the role partly overlapped with that of traditional wise men or tribal chief.

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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