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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

By Taslim Ahammad:

Utmost civil disagreements are resolved without filing a lawsuit, and many civil lawsuits are resolved without going to court. The courts and others propose a variety of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods to facilitate citizen/people to resolve disputes. ADR is usually less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than going to court. This writing look at why parties make use of ADR and what the social interest is in ADR.

ADR refers to the method and techniques designed to help disagreeing parties come to an agreement without going to court. In short, any method of resolving disputes without litigation is ADR. It is the procedure usually less costly and more expeditious. ADR is a collection of processes used for the purpose of resolving conflict informally and confidentially alternatives to traditional processes (without going to court), such as grievances and complaints; however, it does not displace those traditional processes. ADR used for different ways of solving a dispute, for example, mediation, negotiation and other methods are all types of ADR. In many circumstances they are alternatives to going to court which is why they are known as ‘alternative dispute resolution.

Methods: Different methods of alternative dispute resolution usually includes adjudication, arbitration, conciliation, early neutral evaluation, negotiation, mediation, minitrial, and ombudsman. Adjudication: Adjudication mainly constitutes in several ways that decisions are made by a neutral third party. Mostly, the third party has the right to make a binding decision. Many people refer to adjudication as the resolution of litigation or other conflicts which is done in a court by a judge. The adjudicator is usually an expert in the area you are complaining about. Arbitration: The arbitrator makes a decision based on the facts, an arbitration hearing, you may have a representative speak for you or you can speak for yourself. Arbitration uses an independent arbitrator, usually from the authority. This is based on the paper evidence you and the other party/trader send in. Arbitrator will explain how the decision was reached. Conciliation: Conciliation is a method whereby the parties to a dispute use a conciliator, who meets with the parties both separately and together in an attempt to resolve their differences. It is the process of adjusting or settling disputes in a friendly manner through out of court means. Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE): ENE is when disputing parties submit their issue to a neutral evaluator over a confidential evaluation session. The neutral evaluator reflects each side’s position and reduces evaluate of the issue. Hence, Neutral Evaluation is the method by which the parties/their counsel present their issues/cases to a neutral third party (generally experienced and respected lawyer with expertise within the substantive area of the dispute) who reduces a non-binding logical evaluation on the merit of the case. Negotiation: Negotiation is a method by which two or more parties resolve a dispute or come to a mutual agreement while avoiding argument and disagreement. In business, negotiation skills are important in both informal everyday interactions and formal transactions such as negotiating conditions of sale, lease, service delivery, and various legal matters. Mediation: Mediation is the settlement of a dispute or controversy by setting up an independent person between two contending parties in order to aid them in the settlement of their disagreement. Therefore, it is the form of alternative dispute resolution, whereby parties attempt to resolve their differences without going to court. Some court directions utilize voluntary or compulsory mediation, especially in family matters. Mediation practice attempt to settle a legal dispute through active participation of a third party (“neutral” or “mediator”) who works to discover points of agreement and mark those in conflict agree on a reasonable outcome. Minitrial: Minitrial refer to a process in which the parties to a dispute engages in an information exchange through their summary presentation of its case to a joint panel made up of a management person from each side, before negotiating the matter. Ombudsman: A person who appointed to scrutinize individuals’ complaints against a company or organization, especially a public authority.

Resolve conflicts without going court: Find the source of the trouble and put the issue in perspective against the greater benefit of reaching an agreement. Appeal to people’s sense of fairness. Keep good records of who said what and when. Assume the best, talk it through, keep it cool and take a break. Agree on a mutually acceptable time and place to discuss the conflict. State the problem as you see it and list your concerns. Let the other person have their opinion. Listen first then ask questions and stick to one conflict at a time to the issue at hand. Find common ground, remain calm and tempers will stand in the way of working through your differences. Make a list of your concerns and stay away from negative talk. Find something you can agree on and listen carefully to different interests. Strategies: With a basic understanding this conflict management strategies, business owners and others can better deal with conflicts before they escalate beyond repair, are accommodating, avoiding, collaborating, compromising, and competing. Skills: Dealing and solving conflict in a positive way. Conflict is a simple and even healthy part of relationships, if you handle properly. After all, two or more people cannot be likely to agree on everything at every times. Ever since relationship conflicts are inevitable, learning to deal with them in a healthy way is vital. Resolve conflict with boss: Develop emotions under control and allow plenty of time to cool off before discussing your boss. Come across and explore underlying issues and needs and identify mutually acceptable solution/s. Resolve team/employee conflict: Prepare for resolution and inspire employees to work it out. Bear in mind you are their colleague, not their parents. Please listen to both sides and identify the real problem. Look up employee handbook and find a solution, if there. Write up issues, understand the situation and discuss them how to resolve/avoid those and reach agreement. Avoid conflict at work: First and foremost, be positive and give and take feedback, work and humour, awareness, seek advice, one step ahead, talk with the other person at work, listen carefully, identify points of agreement and disagreement, follow through on your plan. Avoid conflict with others: Keep on being a good listener. Never stick to a fixed opinion. Avoid thinking to be right all the time. Have some alone time, if it is a relationship conflict. Put your feet in the other person’s shoes. Avoid family conflict: Suggestions include: Work out if the issue is worth fighting over. Try to separate the problem from the person. Try to cool off first if you feel too angry to talk calmly. Keep in mind that the idea is to resolve the conflict, not win the argument. Find the humour and follow the spiritual guidance. Peacefully resolve conflict: Stay calm, remember the only emotions can control your own, let the other person speak, if someone has engaged you in an uncomfortable conversation then let them say their peace, there are no awards for winning an argument so avoid it, keep a comfortable distance, and do not give in to verbal abuse.

The methods discussed above are the most commonly employed approaches of ADR. Negotiation and mediation plays a significant role in each method, either primarily or secondarily. On the other hand, there are countless of other ADR methods, many of which modify or combine the above methods. If mediation fails, the parties may carry on with binding arbitration. The goal with each type of ADR is for the parties to find the best effective way of solving their dispute without going to court.

Taslim Ahammad, Assistant Professor

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj, Bangladesh.

Email: taslim.ahammad@gmail.com