Other forms of dispute resolution.

Those mentioned below operate in very similar ways to mediation but produce different results as detailed.

 

Early neutral evaluation

This procedure is one where a neutral evaluator considers the points of a dispute and provides a non-binding recommendation as a result of a preliminary assessment of the facts, evidence or legal merit. The object of this exercise is to enable the parties to avoid further unnecessary stages in litigation or at the least create a forum for further negotiations

Procedural directions will normally be agreed between the evaluator and the parties although if agreement cannot be reached, the evaluator may fix his own procedural directions.

The parties may suspend the process and submit to mediation at any time and may, if mediation does not succeed, revert to evaluation.

Executive tribunal procedure

This is a procedure which is a more formalised form of mediation and sometimes known as a “mini trial”. A panel is formed consisting of one or more representatives from each party to the dispute, persons not previously involved in the dispute, and a neutral mediator as chairman.

Each party to the dispute presents its case in a formal manner to the panel which eventually retires to consider the position, without or without the neutral chairman, as will have been previously agreed. The parties may then mediate and attempt to agree a settlement.

Expert determination

This is a procedure where an independent third party acting as expert rather than judge or arbitrator is appointed to decide the dispute. His decision is final, thereby closing the matter. It differs from the early neutral evaluation because the result is a binding decision.

It differs from arbitration because it is less formal and is normally not subject to “due process”, namely the fairly lengthy and time consuming procedural issues more normally connected to litigation and formal arbitration.

Arbitration

This is a formal procedure conducted pursuant to the terms of the Arbitration Act 1996 and produces a binding result. As a result of its formality it is a more complex and time consuming process and would normally be conducted in accordance with “due process” but still quicker and less costly than going to court for a full trial.

hands being shaken