Does Mediation work? (Overview)

The Kenyan Legal System is adversarial in its procedure. This means that each party to a dispute presents arguments and evidence in support of their case to the court and the court decides whether the party that commenced proceedings has proved their case to the relevant standards.

The Constitution of Kenya requires that, in exercising judicial authority, the courts and tribunals must be guided by the principles of, inter alia, promotion of alternative forms of dispute resolution including reconciliation, mediation arbitration and traditional dispute resolution mechanisms.

Mediation is a voluntary, participant-centered and structured form of alternative dispute resolution. In mediation the parties, with the assistance of a neutral third party known as the mediator, resolve their dispute in a way that is acceptable to all.The mediator uses specialized communication and negotiation techniques to facilitate communication, understanding, acceptance of difference, exploration of interests and negotiation.

Though the mediator facilitates the communications and negotiations, the parties retain the right to decide for themselves whether to settle a dispute and the terms of any settlement.Mediation provides an efficient, effective, speedy, convenient and less expensive process to resolve a dispute with civility, dignity and mutual respect.The goal of mediation is to find a mutually acceptable solution that adequately and legitimately satisfies the needs and interest of the parties. Because of this, the agreement that results from mediation is not necessarily one that could be reached through a litigated process.
Some benefits of mediation include;
  1. The parties have control of the scope of terms of reference, issued discussed and the resultant outcome.
  2. Mediation is participative allowing the parties an opportunity to present their case in their own words and directly participate in the negotiation.
  3. The process is voluntary and any party can opt out at any stage if they feel that the mediation process is not as effective or efficient as anticipated.
  4. The self- determining nature of mediation improves compliance with the settlement reached.
  5. Mediation helps to maintain, improve or restore relationships between the parties.
  6. The mediation costs are affordable and much less than litigation fees.
Why not avoid the lengthy and costly litigation process and avoid being entrenched in conflict through the adversarial nature of the court process by choosing mediation as your first and automatic response to managing and resolving your disputes.

Contact Amani Conflict Resolution Services to learn more about how mediation can help you.