A mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates a conversation between two or more parties in a conflict. A mediator uses his or her skills to bring the parties to a settlement. However, the mediator does not decide what the settlement might be, which remains within the parties’ control. Unlike a judge, a mediator does not provide his or her opinion on the merits of the conflict.
ADR is currently an area of substantial growing importance in many legal jurisdictions globally. The use of arbitration is well established, but there are several issues to be addressed in ensuring that the process is as efficient and effective as it can be. Therefore, increasingly there has been a desire to use mediation as a dispute settlement mechanism. The use of mediation is being driven by a variety of factors, including the desire for quicker, more private and more cost-effective ways of resolving civil disputes. While this is in many ways to be welcomed, it brings with it significant questions, for example, potential oversight of practice, transparency and the development of precedent. For instance, both government policy and civil court rules are promoting the use of ADR in England and Wales, and it offers potential benefits to those involved in a civil dispute. It is important that developments in the use of ADR be soundly based, and that progress continues in identifying appropriate ways to address disputes in cost and time efficient ways. Thus, the aim of our research platform is the advancement of research, scholarship and education in the fields of negotiation, mediation and arbitration internationally. In doing this, we seek to develop relationships with legal professionals and academics with interests in this area.