Role of Mediation in the Arena of Human Rights Dispute

About the Author

Mr. Ashish Kumar
University Teaching Assistant/Ph.D. Scholar
Faculty of Law, University of Delhi


Mediation has a long history in international relations, and over time the practice has made inroads into other forms of conflict – labour, business, family, and community disputes – and recently into public policy-making, including environmental issues.

Mediation is a distinct form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which is consensual, non-adversarial, non-adjudicatory and non-litigative. It is antiquated in its origins, the earliest practice of which could be traced to several ancient civilizations.  It is basically a procedure for resolving controversies. In it a neutral intervener assists two or more negotiating parties to identify matters of concern, develop a better understanding of their situation, and based upon that improved understanding; develop mutually acceptable proposals to resolve those concerns. Mediation embraces the philosophy of democratic decision-making. [1]

Again mediation is a voluntary and confidential way to resolve disputes without giving the decision-making power to someone else (like a judge). It involves sitting down with theother side in the dispute and a third party who is neutral and impartial (the mediator). The mediator helps the parties identify the important issues in the dispute and decide how they can resolve it themselves. The mediator does not tell them what to do or make a judgment about who is right and who is wrong. Control over the outcome of the case stays with the parties. Mediation incurs minimal procedural and evidentiary requirements while providing unlimited opportunity for the parties to exercise flexibility in communicating their underlying concerns and priorities regarding the dispute. The main attraction of mediation is the prospect of reaching a harmonious solution, while preserving the relationship of the parties as opposed to the confrontational/legalistic approach of traditional litigation.

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July 19, 2016

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