Mediation was known in all ancient cultures. A description thereof can be found as early as in the Bible. Popular in the West, it is slowly gaining proponents in Poland. The institution of dispute resolution through mediation is a thriving method of speedy conflict resolution and finding a common ground. Family matters are particularly important, where often children suffer as a result of a conflict between the parents and become a bargaining chip; it is for their sake that it is worth taking up discussion which is the door to reaching a settlement. The specifics of family matters speak for addressing them in the most amicable way, with the protection of privacy and consideration to the parties’ will.
Mediation step by step
• agreeing on the place of mediation, explanation of principles of procedure,
• execution of a mediation contract
• determining mediator’s fees
• mediator’s preliminary speech
• parties’ presentation of their position
• hearing each of the parties
• verification of negotiation possibilities
• establishing priorities
• facilitating direct negotiations
• creation of alternative resolution
• working out a settlement
• conclusion of a settlement
• settling of the contract by the mediator
• transferring the contract to the court (if so agreed by the parties)
Mediation takes place in the mediator’s office, in a relaxed atmosphere and not in the court room. If the parties take up constructive discussion, even the very first session may end in signing a settlement, which will close the dispute definitely without the need of recourse to judicial resolution. One session may save several years of a lawsuit! No petitions, no filing of pleadings, no waiting for the court’s setting of the date of a hearing or a sitting. A phone call or an email message is sufficient in order to arrange a date for a meeting with the mediator that suits all parties.
An important virtue of mediation is its cost, which is significantly lower than when resolving the problem through litigation. When the court registration fee, costs of opinions of expert witnesses and costs of representatives are summed up mediation becomes very attractive finance-wise.
It is worth noting that mediation helps in working out a compromise that is satisfactory to both parties to the dispute whereas a court ruling imposes a solution which on many occasions does not fully satisfy either the petitioner or the respondent.
The most important principle of mediation is its voluntary nature, both parties to the dispute need to be open to discussion. It also needs to be borne in mind that mediation does not preclude a further possibility of pursuing one’s claims through litigation. As a result, no risk is taken.
Mediation is recommended in any case, in all branches of law. It facilitates speedy and effective elimination of disputes in the realm of civil law:
- in particular under family and guardianship law, in cases for divorce, support, care and custody of a child, division of property,
- under succession law when determining the manner of partition of a succession,
- under economic law, in resolving disputes between traders,
- under labour law, in a host disputes with employers, as well as in a number of criminal cases.