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The Role of Mediation in Resolving Disputes in Third Section Organisations - 5th Nov 2013

The Role of Mediation in Resolving Disputes in Third Section Organisations

“I’m calling my solicitor” is a refrain that’s often heard in staff rooms and work places when things are felt to have gone beyond the point of no return. Hearts sink and costs rise. Litigation is essentially a process of escalation – claim and counter-claim - that’s designed to produce a winner and a loser.

Yet few of Northern Ireland’s Third Sector organisations succeed by pursuing this kind of antagonistic approach. It’s not how they would normally seek to resolve their difficulties in a sector where negotiation and mutually beneficial deals need to be done.

For those leaders in the sector who are interested in a different way to respond to disputes, professional mediation is an excellent alternative to time-consuming and costly tribunal action. Bringing the parties together in a neutral and confidential setting with an independent mediator, the process provides resolution without recourse to formal proceedings which risk long-term and irreparable damage.

Mediation isn’t about being ‘soft’ – it’s that you’re deploying limited resources cost-effectively. Crucially for organisations mediation is much cheaper than traditional court action and there’s more than just a financial advantage. In court, solutions can be quite binary. There is an opportunity in mediation to preserve working relationships and come up with creative options that the courts cannot propose because of their limited remit.

Mediation processes do have teeth – they can be used to create legally binding agreements with penalties if one side falls short. Although mediation isn’t a panacea for all ills, its speed and cost-effectiveness make it attractive to many organisations.

About the speaker


Dorcas Crawford, Senior Partner, Edwards & Co. Solicitors and CEDR Mediator. Dorcas is one of a handful of Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) accredited mediators in Northern Ireland.

When: November 5th, 2013 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Location: CO3 Offices, 34 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast, BT2 7DB

To register for this event please email sarah@co3.bz.

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