Resolving a Dispute

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Resolving a dispute

ADR (alternative dispute resolution) usually describes dispute resolution where an independent person (an ADR practitioner, such as a mediator) helps people in dispute to try to sort out the issues between them. ADR can help people to resolve a dispute before it becomes so big that a court or tribunal becomes involved. ADR can be very flexible and can be used for almost any kind of dispute; even those that would never go to a court or tribunal.

NADRAC, Your Guide to Dispute Resolution, 2012

Disputes and conflicts are a normal part of life.

They can arise within families, workplaces, businesses, government and the broader community.

They might result from

  • differences in the way we see things
  • different interpretations of agreements or contracts
  • different ways of communicating
  • different priorities, beliefs, standards, values ...

Resolving a dispute

Resolution Institute encourages people with a dispute to try, first, to sort it out themselves. Often people can do this by listening carefully to others, explaining their own perspectives clearly and then working together to come up with next steps.

If this is not successful, Resolution Institute encourages people to consider DR. Many DR processes are informal; the people involved often choose the DR professional; and in the case of mediation or facilitation, the people involved make decisions about the outcome and/or next steps.

Resolution Institute also encourages people to consider seeking legal, financial and other expert advice when it is appropriate. In some cases, people may decide to use a court or tribunal to settle their dispute.

Finding an dispute resolution practitioner

On the Resolution Institute website, click on "Find an ADR practitioner".

Check for details about accreditation and/or grading. Accredited and/or graded practitioners have met good character, training, experience and/or competency standards of one or more accreditation or grading schemes.