The basic difference between mediation and conciliation is based on the role played by the third party who is selected by the parties seeking a settlement, in consensus. In mediation, the mediator acts as a facilitator who helps the parties in agreeing. Conversely, in conciliation, the conciliator is more like an interventionist who provides probable solutions to the parties concerned, to settle disputes.
Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a dispute resolution method that employs non-adversarial (i.e. out of court) ways to adjudicate legal controversies. ADR methods are informal, cheaper and faster, in comparison to the traditional litigation process. It includes arbitration, conciliation, mediation and negotiation.
Many think that conciliation and mediation are one and the same thing, but they are different, as they are governed by different acts.
Content: Mediation Vs Conciliation
|Basis for Comparison||Mediation||Conciliation|
|Meaning||Mediation is a process of resolving issues between parties wherein a third party assist them in arriving at an agreement.||Conciliation is a alternate dispute resolution method in which an expert is appointed to settle the dispute by persuading parties to reach agreement.|
|Regulated by||Code of Civil Procedure, 1908||Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996|
|Basic element||Confidentiality, that depends on trust.||Confidentiality, whose extent is fixed by law.|
|Third Party||Acts as facilitator.||Acts as facilitator, evaluator and intervener.|
|Result||Agreement between parties||Settlement agreement|
|Agreement||It is enforceable by law.||It is executable as decree of civil court.|
Definition of Mediation
Mediation is a form of alternate dispute resolution, wherein parties mutually appoint an independent and impartial third party, called as the mediator who helps the parties in reaching an agreement which is mutually accepted by the parties concerned.
As a facilitator, mediator attempts to facilitate discussion and build an agreement between the parties with an aim to settle the dispute. The decision made by the mediator is not binding like an arbitral award.
Definition of Conciliation
Conciliation can be described as the method adopted by the parties for resolving the dispute, wherein the parties out of their free consent appoint an unbiased and disinterested third party, who attempts to persuade them to arrive at an agreement, by way of mutual discussion and dialogue.
Conciliation is characterised by the voluntary will of the parties who want to conciliate the dispute. Its basic component is confidentiality in which the parties and the conciliator are not permitted to share or disclose to the external party, anything associated with the proceedings.
The conciliator plays an advisory role, wherein he/she suggests potential remedies to the problem. The conciliation process completes with a settlement between the parties which is final and binding upon the parties.
Key Differences Between Mediation and Conciliation
The differences between mediation and conciliation are discussed below in detail:
- The process of dispute resolution in which a third party intervenes in an attempt to resolve it, by enabling communication between parties is called mediation. On the other hand, conciliation implies a process of settling the dispute between the parties, in which a neutral third party provides potential solutions to the parties so as to resolve the issue.
- Mediation is governed by Code of Civil Procedure Act, 1908. Conversely, Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 regulates conciliation.
- Both mediation and conciliation are premised on confidentiality. However, in mediation, confidentiality relies on the trust and in conciliation, the law determines the extent of confidentiality.
- In mediation, the role of the third party is a facilitator, who facilitates interaction between the parties. As against, in conciliation, the role played by the third party is beyond facilitator, who not only facilitate communication but also provide solutions to their problem as an expert.
- Mediation process completes with an agreement between the parties concerned, whereas conciliation ends with a settlement agreement between the parties.
- The contract of agreement between the parties under mediation is enforceable by law. On the contrary, the settlement agreement between the parties is binding upon parties like an arbitral award.
Both conciliation and mediation seek to find out the disputed issues and solutions for the same. These are are non-judicial, non-adversarial process, wherein the parties seek a solution to their issue rather than competing against each other. These are voluntary in nature, i.e. both parties should agree to mediate or conciliate the dispute.
To sum up, it is evident from the above discussion that the role played by the third party differs the two form of alternate dispute resolution. While conciliator gives suggestions and advice on the issue for resolving the dispute between the parties, as he/she is an expert in that domain. Mediator on the other hand only facilitates communication and develop understanding. No advisory role is played by the mediator.