About Private Mediation
Private mediation is one of the options available to resolve a conflict. Private mediation can be opted when people involved in conflict decide to mutually resolve their own problems, however need assistance of a professional to facilitate the resolution process in a structured form. In this process, a private mediator assists by facilitating conversations and discussions. It is informal in nature, happens in private, on voluntary decisions, by a mutual consensus and is conducted without prejudice. The final decisions in private mediation can result into defined & written agreement or a mere oral understanding.
Three Stages of Private Mediation
Stage 1: Initiation
Step 1. Pre-mediation counselling
The pre-mediation counselling meeting is held to assess the suitability of private mediation to the conflict. The mediator meets approaching individual/ organisation to analyse if this private mediation process can and should be opted.
Step 2. Appointing mediator
The purpose of appointing a mediator is to give the mediator the authority to facilitate the process. An appointment agreement with terms and conditions is signed between the mediator and the people involved in the mediation process.
Step 3. Intake
The intake meeting is for gathering and giving. The mediator meets all the people individually giving equal time slot. The information is gathered to understand each individual’s inputs for the problem which assists in upcoming discussions.
Stage 2: Mediation Journey
Possibility 1. Joint session only
In the joint session, everybody meets together. Mediator, Parties, including their Lawyers if involved in the process. There can be one or more than one joint session.
Possibility 2. Caucus only
A caucus session/ private meeting is an individual session with the mediator. The information shared in this meeting will not be disclosed to other parties unless asked.
Possibility 3. Can do both
Depending on the need and requirement of people involved, a private mediation process can be a combination of both joint session(s) and private session(s).
Stage 3: Final Result (Resolution)
Choice 1. Oral understanding
It is not necessary to pen down whatever was spoken in the mediation. There can be a simple understanding, for instance, promise with trust.
Choice 2. Self drafted document
It is at the discretion of the people involved in the process to prepare a written document which either be self-drafted or with assistance of the mediator.
Choice 3. Legal document
The final decision(s) may also convert into a legally binding document. This can be drafted with the help of a common lawyer/ an advocate.