Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the dispute settlement mechanism which settles the dispute peacefully and without disturbing the relationship of the parties Explain

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the dispute settlement mechanism which settles the dispute peacefully and without disturbing the relationship of the parties Explain

  1. Introduction

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a compilation of processes used for the idea of resolving disputes or conflicts informally and secretly. It is often thought of as a new way of resolving disputes. This process includes conflicts or dispute resolution processes and techniques that act as a means for contradictory parties to come to a union short of proceedings. New York State Unified Court System stated ADR as an accumulation of different processes those help the related parties to solve conflicts without trial or the use of court. ADR is normally considered to be alternative to proceedings. The term “alternative dispute resolution” or “ADR” is often used to describe a wide variety of dispute resolution mechanisms that are short of, or alternative to, full-scale court processes.It provides alternatives to traditional processes, such as grievances and complaints; but does not displace those traditional processes. ADR has gained widespread acceptance among the general public in recent years despite of historic confrontation to ADR by many popular parties. As we all know litigation takes a lot of time solves a case. Because ADR takes much less time compare to the traditional process so it requires fewer cost. As a result, the popularity of ADR is increasing day by day. Another important reason, of its increasing popularity is- it is a prestige matter to go to the court, but ADR provides the assurance that the whole case or disputes will be handled with confidentiality that nobody will not know about it.

The ADR process ensures improved communication between parties in which the dispute occurred. So there is always a chance for both parties of improving their relationship through knowing each other’s point of view. As a result there is a higher possibility of resulting satisfaction and quick solution which shows the both parties control over the outcome without the publicity.

Within the context of rule of law initiatives, ADR programs can:

ü Support and complement court reform.

ü By-pass ineffective and discredited courts.

ü Increase popular satisfaction with dispute resolution.

ü Increase access to justice for disadvantaged groups.

ü Reduce delay in the resolution of disputes.

ü Reduce the cost of resolving disputes.<href=”#_ftn3″ title=””>[3]

The fact is- no one is going to lose anything by using ADR since all statutory entitlements remain intact.

  1. Types of ADR and Their Specialty

ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution traditions vary from country to country and culture to culture. But the two types of ADR are historically common. First is, formal methods for resolving disputes outside of the official judicial mechanisms. Second, informal methods attached to or pendant to official judicial mechanisms.<href=”#_ftn4″ title=””>[4] It is imperative to understand that conflict resolution is one main goal of all the ADR processes. It is a dispute resolution process of a process leads to the resolution.

ADR is generally classified into at least four types:

  • Negotiation,
  • Arbitration,
  • Mediation, and
  • Conciliation.
Characteristics Negotiation Mediation Arbitration





In some cases involuntary (mandated mediation)

Voluntary (when based on contract clause–mandatory)Binding/

non-bindingIf agreement, enforce- able as contractIf agreement, enforceable as contract, sometimes agreement embodied in court decreeBinding, subject to review on very limited grounds.Third partyNo third-party facilitatorParty-selected outside facilitatorParty-selected decision maker often with specialized expertiseDegree of formalityUsually informal, unstructuredUsually informal, partly structuredProcedurally less formal than litigation; procedural rules and substantive law may be set by partiesNature of processingUnbounded presentation of evidence, arguments and interestsUnbounded presentation of evidence, arguments and interestsOpportunity for each party to present proofs and arguments


Mutually acceptable agreement sought

Mutually acceptable agreement sought

Sometimes principled decision sup- ported by reasoned opinion; sometimes compromise

without opinionOrientationFuture-orientedFuture-orientedPast-orientedPrivate/ publicPrivatePrivatePrivate, unless judicial review sought


Table: “Primary” Dispute Resolution Processes

2.1. Negotiation

The first phase of is known as negotiation in ADR process. It is a voluntary and usually informal process, where no third party involved, in which parties identifies issues of concern, search options for the resolution of the issues, and search for a mutually suitable agreement to resolve the issues raised. The disputing parties may be represented by attorneys in negotiation.Actually, the negotiation phase engages association between the respondents and an ADR Specialist. Normally, respondents are the executives of higher level management if the involved parties are organization.Negotiations can be conducted over the phone with the ADR Specialist.

While the ADR Specialist will give emphasis to conformity with the Act throughout the negotiations, he or she identifies the significance of achieving a mutually pleasing resolution to please both the respondent and the Commission. The ADR Office usually gives the respondent an agreement with the terms of the settlement. After the signature of the respondent in the agreement, the ADR Office submits it to the Commission for approval. The case will go for the mediation process only if one of the respondents and the ADR specialist are not able to reach the settlement during the negotiation period.

In a later enforcement schedule, any information disclosed during the negotiation session will remain strictly confidential and will not be used. That’s why negotiation is different from mediation, arbitration, and other processes in that there is no neutral individual to assist the parties negotiate.

Negotiation offers several advantages:

  • The opportunity for both the respondent and the ADR Specialist to clarify the disputed issues;
  • The opportunity to shape terms of settlement that are mutually agreeable to the respondent and the commission;
  • The possibility for a speedy resolution of the objections or referral.

2.2. Arbitration

The arbitration process can only start if related parties do arbitration agreement to resolve future disputes through arbitration. It takes more formality compare to the other processes. In this process, participation is typically deliberate, and there is a third party who, as a private judge, imposes the decision. Arbitration is an adjudication process because a neutral third party hears the evidence and decides the outcome for the parties. There are only two basis upon which a party can challenge the meeting of an arbitrator – rational uncertainty in the impartiality of the arbitrator and the lack of appropriate qualification of the arbitrator is required by the arbitration agreement. An exchange of statement of claim and defense in which existence of an arbitration agreement is suspected by one party and not denied by other is also considered as valid written arbitration agreement. A sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators so appointed constitutes the Arbitration Tribunal. Once the period for filing an appeal for setting aside an award is over, or if such an appeal is rejected, the award is binding on the parties and is considered as a decree of the court.

There are certain advantages parties perceive in arbitration over judicial proceedings:

  • When the subject is highly technical, arbitrators with an appropriate level of expertise can be selected (as one cannot “choose the judge” in litigation);
  • arbitration is often faster than litigation in court;
  • arbitration is cheaper and more flexible for businesses;
  • arbitral proceedings and an arbitral award are generally non-public, and can be made confidential;<href=”#_ftn11″ title=””>[11]
  • because of the provisions of the New York Convention 1958, arbitration awards are generally easier to enforce in other nations than court judgments.

2.3. Mediation

Mediation is a flexible, non-binding dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party (the mediator) assists two or more disputants to reach a voluntary, negotiated settlement of their differences.<href=”#_ftn13″ title=””>[13] In this process of ADR the parties have the full control to make the decision of settlement and the terms of resolution. Though the mediator does not have the power to make the decision but the mediator can use different types of skills and techniques to help the parties reach a settlement. The parties remain the decision makers.

In this ADR process the respondents select a mediator from a list of names offered by the ADR bureau. All of the mediators in the ADR course are senior, experienced, neutral professionals from the classified sector, and these mediators have no relation with the government. Throughout the mediation period the mediator meets the respondents or the respondents’ spokespersons and the Commission’s ADA Specialist both together and separately as needed which is normally last one day. Information revealed for the period of the mediation will stay secret. The information discussed in “caucus” sessions (closed meetings between a party and the mediator) cannot be shared with the other party unless the respondent gives the mediator express permission to do so.In addition, any information presented throughout mediation cannot be used in any afterward enforcement proceeding.

  • Mediation is much less costly than civil litigation;
  • It is a much faster process than civil litigation;
  • In mediation, the parties are full participants and can express their own opinions;
  • Mediation allows the opportunity for parties to work together and reach a settlement and continue to work together;
  • Mediation is a private process and not subject to public knowledge and possible media attention.

2.4. Conciliation

Conciliation is another dispute resolution process which involves in creating a positive and constructive relationship between the involved parties of dispute. It is true that, conciliation is basically unlike to mediation and arbitration in several aspects. It is a method employed in civil law countries and it is a more common concept in many countries compare to mediation. It is a less formal than arbitration. It does not need any prior agreement. Only one or few conciliator, those are appointed by the parties, jointly act in the case. In conciliation, the conciliator is typically seen as an authority body that is liable for the figuring out the finest solution for the parties. If any party rejects an offer to conciliate, there cannot be any conciliation.

Most of the time conciliation used as the first stage in the arbitration process. Both involved parties are asked to give written statement about the complaints they have. Each party sends a copy of the statement to the other party. The conciliator can request for further details, may ask to meet the parties, or communicate with the parties orally or in writing. Parties may even submit suggestions for the settlement of the dispute to the conciliator. When it appears to the conciliator that elements of settlement exist, he may draw up the terms of settlement and send it to the parties for their acceptance. If both the parties sign the settlement document, it shall be final and binding on both. But is not mandatory for the parties to accept the decision is being made by the conciliator. If they find the decision is not good enough for them, they can go to the court and take reasonable steps opposition party for their right.

Few of the many more advantages are given below-

  • It extends the negotiation process and allows for settlement between the parties;
  • There is usually no charge for conciliation;
  • Conciliation can provide a confidential means of resolving disputes;
  • Conciliation can be helpful where one of the parties has improbable hopes about the dispute and a more pro-active approach to the merits may help in resolving the matter;
  • Conciliation may also be useful where the parties yearning to have their conflict resolved by objective considerations of what is right, more willingly than purely by conformity between the parties.
  1. Conclusion

Humans have always had the tendency to solve their differences through fighting; they also have accepted the benefits of resolve the matters peacefully by flipping a coin or some other way. This search for alternatives to violence give birth the alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This process of solving different differences is creating many opportunities. However, there are other methods for resolving dispute which offer as many advantages as ADR provides. There are other types of methods in ADR process, like- case evaluation, early neutral evaluation, family group conference, neutral fact-finding, ombuds, but the four proceedings discussed above have special emphasis on ADR process and have the most significant impact over litigation these days.

  1. References
  2. Alternative Dispute Resolution Manual: Implementing Commercial Mediation by Lukasz Rozdeiczer & Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa
  3. Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution by Martin A. Frey
  4. Alternative Dispute Resolution by Michael Freeman
  5. A Practical Guide to the Concept and Practice of Arbitration Law by Rajkumar S. Adukia.
  10. mediation

 Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to a variety of processes that help parties resolve disputes without a trial.

In ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PRACTITIONERS’ GUIDE, it is explained- The term “alternative dispute resolution” or “ADR” is often used to describe a wide variety of dispute resolution mechanisms that are short of, or alternative to, full-scale court processes.

In ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PRACTITIONERS’ GUIDE, it is mentioned- within the context of rule of law initiatives, ADR programs can:

· Support and complement court reform

· By-pass ineffective and discredited courts

· Increase popular satisfaction with dispute resolution

· Increase access to justice for disadvantaged groups

· Reduce delay in the resolution of disputes

· Reduce the cost of resolving disputes

See Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Derived from

See Alternative Dispute Resolution Manual: Implementing Commercial Mediation in Understanding ADR and Mediation by Lukasz Rozdeiczer & Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa

See Alternative Dispute Resolution Manual: Implementing Commercial Mediation

See FEC Alternative dispute resolution program. Retrieved from

See FEC Alternative dispute resolution program. Retrieved from

See FEC Alternative dispute resolution program

See Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Derived from

See Confidentiality

New York Convention 1958

See Alternative Dispute Resolution Manual: Implementing Commercial Mediation

See FEC Alternative dispute resolution program

See Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Derived from