While the historical methods of resolving the disputes e.g. civil litigation etc. are still very much intact and effective but their limitations have also been highlighted in modern age.
This has given rise to the idea of finding alternate methods of dispute resolution or alternate dispute resolution (ADR). In this paper we will look at what is ‘Alternate Dispute Resolution’, what are its types, how it evolved and what is its effectiveness towards access to justice. We will also see if there are any challenges confronting alternate dispute resolution.
When a dispute is resolved through non-conventional methods it is knows as alternate dispute resolution. It “can be defined as the resolution of disputes other than rendered by the judicial system”. (Rosa, Santa, 2009) There are many ways in which a dispute can be alternatively resolved but following are the most commonly used ones:
When the parties to a dispute appoint a neutral referee to hear their dispute and make the decision it is knows as arbitration. The person working as the referee is known as the arbitrator. There can be one or more arbitrator in arbitration. Arbitration is mostly used when there is an arbitration clause in contract between two parties stating that in case of a dispute both parties would go to the arbitrator instead of going through the tradition legal forums. (Lew, Mistelis and Kroll, 2003)
Mediation is a system to reach a consensus among conflicting parties. In mediation a mediator is appointed with the consent of all parties. The mediator tries to talk to concerned parties both in the presence of each other and alone as well. Mediation, as a process of reaching a decision, falls short of arbitration as the status of mediator is only to facilitate the dialogue between parties and not make a final decision regarding the dispute. (Stitt, Allan, 2004)