How to approach mediation?
Since mediation is a voluntary process the parties may come to mediation at any stage, from when the dispute has begun to the point where it has reached court. Hence cases for mediation can be referred independently by one party after which the other party is informed and if they agree, then mediation is proceeded and also by referrals of the court. At any point during litigation where parties feel they want to mediate on one/all of their disputes, with the consent of the court they can refer their dispute to a local mediation centre. For example in Karachi, KCDR takes upon all types of independently referred and case referred cases for mediation.
The Process of Mediation
The process is simple and informal. It is this informality that gives mediation over advantages over litigation and arbitration. Usually the mediation is a three stage process; opening joint session, private sessions and closing joint session. The parties usually submit relevant documents along with their case summary a few days in advance, the mediator then studies it and prepare accordingly for the mediation. The date and time is set which is convenient to both parties for mediation and on the decided day mediation takes place. Due to its voluntary nature the parties are not compelled to an agreement, in fact if in case the parties do not come to an agreement the mediation is either postponed or deemed unsuccessful. However this happens rarely, mostly the parties come to an agreement because mediation generate creative settlement offers which is generated by the parties themselves.
Mediation Process at Karachi Centre for Dispute Resolution
- Initiation of Mediation
Even if there is a case in the court, parties may opt for mediation with the permission from the court. Consent of both parties/entities is required for mediation services.
- Appointment of a Mediator
Karachi Centre for Dispute Resolution will appoint a mediator who will liaise with the clients for signing of a mediation agreement, submitting relevant documents, scheduling of mediation sessions and payment of prescribed fee.
- The Mediation Sessions
The mediation sessions (separate or combined) are conducted at KCDR premises. At these sessions, the mediator listens to both parties and attempts to identify common ground, leading to an agreement acceptable to both parties.