Disagreements, disputes and conflicts are just inevitable. The worst bit about such a situation is that when relationships are strained and deals turn sour, it is difficult to mend the bridges between the parties. Many a times, the disputes end up in court. But then again, not everyone can afford a traditional lawsuit. As a result, many people do not get redress at all.

But this situation is a thing of the past, as the Consumer Council of Fiji facilitates mediation through which the consumers and businesses can resolve their disputes amicably.

The Council’s mediation services provide a speedy alternative dispute resolution process for consumers and businesses. The mediation platform provides a place for parties to negotiate, compromise, and amicably resolve disputes.

What is mediation?

Mediation is an informal conflict-resolution process brought before an independent, neutral third-party person who acts as a mediator. Mediation cases give the parties the opportunity to discuss their issues, clear up misunderstandings, and find areas of agreement in a way that would never be possible in a lawsuit.

Benefits of mediation:

  • Cost: Businesses and consumers can save time and money and emotional stress through early resolution of the dispute. It saves money, as the disputes are promptly settled or if not settled are referred back to the court immediately.
  • Speed: Disputes can be dealt with promptly, as compared to lengthy legalistic process of the Court.
  • Privacy: Complainants and respondents can resolve the dispute in privacy without the details of the dispute and its resolution becoming public.
  • Informal atmosphere: Mediation provides the informal setting and atmosphere, which is conducive to productive communication between the parties. Many of the tensions and stresses of the adversarial process are avoided.
  • Separating the people from the problem: Mediation helps in separating personal issues from the substantive legal issue in dispute by reducing tension and making settlement more likely. Very often in disputes, personal feelings or emotions play a powerful role in fueling litigation.
  • Preserving relationships: Mediation to a great extent preserves relationship between the parties after the dispute is resolved where parties are willing to deal with each other. Conflict is more than just disagreement. It exists when neither party is willing to consider an alternative and the issue becomes an ongoing dispute.