Mediation is a way in which parties are encouraged to jointly resolve a dispute that exists between them. Because the parties jointly look for a solution, it is more likely that the dispute will not lead to a termination of the mutual relationship. Partly for this reason, mediation has become best known in the so-called “persons & family practice” because those parties often (for example by children) stay connected to each other for a longer period of time and the dispute between them must have as little negative influence as possible on this. Because mediation has proved successful within this jurisdiction, the instrument is increasingly being used, as is the case with business disputes. This includes disputes between shareholders, employee and employer, within employee participation and actually any other dispute. The person behind the dispute must be challenged to come to a solution of the dispute; that is the purpose and power of mediation.
This goal is achieved through secrecy, creating mutual trust and listening to each other’s issues and wishes. The mediator provides the required setting and facilitates parties to enter into a dialogue (again) with each other. Once those first steps have been taken and the parties are willing to listen to each other sincerely, there will be another conversation with the aim of formulating principles leading to a solution.
In addition to maintaining the (remaining) relationship, there are several other reasons for choosing mediation. The parties keep the outcome of the dispute in their own hands, as a rule less costs are lost (in addition to costs for the authorized persons one must also think of court fees), and the lead time is often shorter than legal proceedings. These elements make the “mediation” instrument very suitable for pragmatically resolving complex legal disputes.
Jasper Croonen is the mediator associated with VPCA. He followed his education at the ADR Institute in Amsterdam (part of the UvA). This institute trains judges and is highly regarded nationally and internationally. He uses the techniques and skills he has learned not only as a mediator, but also in regular practice. Both in negotiations with the other party or parties and also in the dialogue with the judiciary, the techniques and skills are constantly reviewed with the aim of removing the sting from a dispute and seeking dialogue.