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Mediation is one of the alternative dispute resolutions which resolve disputes by appointing a

neutral third party mediator to facilitate communication between the parties to reach an agreement. The
mediation process consists of introduction, first joint session, mediator’s break, first private sessions and final
joint session. It is an opportunity for the conflicting parties to work their differences with the help of a neutral
third party called the mediator.

The videos show a short fictional account of a mediation process. Mediation was described as
confidential, voluntary, self-determining and neutral. The mediation process in the videos took place in an
ideal setting, that is, in a private room. Hence, the parties can freely discuss everything with the mediator
without worrying about others, who are not privy to the dispute, hearing information that they believe should
be confidential. In addition to that, the mediator will not discuss things outside the private room and repeat
information from the private sessions without permission from all parties or unless required by law or public
policy.

Mediation is a voluntary process. It is optional for both parties. Moreover, as shown in the videos, the
parties are allowed to withdraw anytime from the mediation process if they are not comfortable with it. I
have learned that in the event the parties go to court, the mediator cannot be called in to testify.

Mediation is self-determining. It is based on the principle of self-determination by the parties. It


requires that the mediation process rely upon the ability of the parties to reach a voluntary, unforced
agreement. The parties themselves decide when and under what conditions they will reach an agreement or
terminate mediation. In one of the videos, the mediator did not decide what is right or wrong nor did she give
advice. Also, the mediator did not tell the parties what the resolution was. The parties did that for themselves.

Mediation is neutral. The process places the responsibility of neutrality on the mediator. The
mediators in both videos are commendable because they act in a manner that is seen by the parties as non-
judgmental, non-partisan and neutral. The videos illustrate an ideal situation that cannot be easily attained. A
neutral mediator can help to improve the communication to make sure that one understands what the other
is coming from, and why one believes the proposed result is right.

To conclude, the videos were very insightful and gave the students a clear concept of the mediation
process, as everything can be visualized and explained in detail.