Mediation as a Pre-Trial Civil Litigation Process

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Throughout the years there has been many definitions of mediation. Nevertheless one the most acceptable definition of mediation refers to this procedure as a “…process in which the participants, with the support of a mediator, identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives and make decisions about future actions…” . They also described mediators as the third party assisting the participants in reaching their decision. This process should form a part of the pre-trial civil litigation process as its advantages on the legal system and the community outweigh its disadvantages. The distinguishing models of mediation make it a suitable approach for all or most civil cases.

A problem that may be associated with mediation is power imbalance. Unfortunately, the mediator is only a third party which is present to assist the disputants with their communication to ensure it does not break down and help them reach a decision; however “the parties are in ultimate control, the mediator should not intervene even if one party has more bargaining power than the other” . This can in some cases result in an unfair agreement. Another adverse side of mediation is that; “basically anyone can hang out a sign and practice mediation” - meaning that mediators do not need to undergo a long period of study to ensure their professionalism and knowledge of dispute resolution. This can be harmful to the system and may result in cases being handled by unprofessional personals.
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