Mediation Awareness Week 5

Sums and Games

Dispute resolution has been compared to game theory, with zero-, negative- and (very rarely) positive-sum outcomes. The adversarial nature of the British civil justice system and of the legal representation process do tend to reinforce this. Each side tries its hardest to win, whether it is right or wrong.

What then is mediation? Positive, negative or zero? The answer is none of the above. Mediation does not treat a dispute as a game to win or lose. Instead the process, in the hands of a good mediator, seeks to identify a resolution that works for both sides. The flexibility of mediation to find solutions that are not just about the money but which can include things like undertakings as to future conduct, or even a simple apology, means that in the overwhelming majority of cases both side walk away with a sense of having achieved a resolution rather than having won or lost. We prefer to ‘settle’ – a much more reasonable term.

So Mediation Awareness week draws to a close, but hopefully awareness of mediation will not. Give us a call  or find us at when you need us.