What is Mediation?

Mediation is a flexible settlement technique, conducted privately and confidentially, in which a mediator acts as a neutral facilitator to help the parties try to arrive at a negotiated settlement of their dispute.

The parties have control over both the decision to settle and the terms of any settlement agreement. In mediation proceedings, parties remain in control of the outcome by negotiating a contractually binding, win-win agreement based on their business interests. Since control over the decision to settle and the terms of any settlement agreement remains with the parties, the mediator has no power to impose a settlement on the parties but facilitates the parties’ settlement negotiations.

During the mediation, the mediator may hold meetings or conference calls with all of the parties present and may also hold separate meetings or calls with each of the parties alone.

In the course of the mediation, the parties can exchange settlement proposals, which may lead to a negotiated agreement. Such proposals can be made directly between the parties or through the mediator.

Mediation takes usually less time than arbitration or litigation and involves lower costs. Furthermore, the process enables parties to reach an agreement on solutions which could not be achieved through an adjudicative process such as arbitration or litigation and which would not therefore be available through the making of an arbitral award or a judicial decision. For example, the parties’ preferred solution to a contractual dispute may be to renegotiate the terms of the contract. The renegotiation of a contract is possible in mediation, whereas it is unlikely to be any legal basis for seeking such relief in arbitration or litigation.

Whilst the adjudicative processes focus on the parties’ legal rights, mediation helps parties also to take into consideration commercial and other interests. The mediation process can help parties acquire a better understanding of each other’s needs and interests so that they can look for a solution which accommodates these needs and interests as far as possible. Mediation can be a particularly useful tool when the parties in dispute have an on-going relationship (such as a joint venture or long-term supply contract).

Anyone can use ICC Mediation, whether a company, state, state entity, international organization or individual. It is not necessary to be an ICC member or to have any other affiliation with ICC.

ICC Mediations are administered by the ICC International Centre for ADR pursuant to the ICC Mediation Rules. The Centre is the only body empowered to administer proceedings under those Rules.

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