Today is the European Day of Mediation, coinciding with the date on which the first legislative text on family mediation in Europe was approved through Recommendation No. 98 adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
But what do we mean when we talk about mediation?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution system that consists of a voluntary, flexible and participatory process in which two opposing parties call upon an impartial third party (the mediator) to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.
The objective of mediation is to facilitate the establishment of a new relationship between the parties in conflict, increasing respect and trust between them, correcting those perceptions and false information that may be held about the conflict and/or between the parties involved, and creating a framework that facilitates communication between the parties and the transformation of the dispute.
The principles on which mediation is based are basically those detailed below:
1.- The control of the process and decisions is exercised by the parties involved.
2.-The mediator must be a neutral third party.
3.-The mediation process is confidential.
4.- Mediation is voluntary and requires the free and explicit agreement of the participants.
The main advantages of this type of procedure are the possibility of achieving solutions in a shorter period of time than would be obtained in a judicial process, with a lower economic and emotional cost, since it is a tool that, as we have already indicated, forces both parties to reach an understanding, to yield in their position in order to try to reach a beneficial agreement.
However, in the event of deciding to resort to this route, it is advisable to have a lawyer to provide the corresponding advice during the mediation process, in order to supervise the content of the agreements prior to their signing to ensure that the result is in accordance with the law and the strategies designed, and after the end of the process, to give, if necessary, legal form to the agreements reached and to request judicial approval so that the agreement becomes an enforceable title and can be enforced by the courts.
Article written by Cynthia Zárate