The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is causing people to be more careful about having face-to-face meetings. However, disputes are continuing to arise, and ADR methods, such as online mediation, may prove to be an effective tool for resolving international disputes.
Compared to the conventional methods, online mediation of an international dispute has some advantages & disadvantages to it. The purpose of this the article is to summarize some of them & provide you with some useful tips on preparing for virtual mediation.
Benefits of Online Dispute Resolution
Sometimes, resolving an international dispute through mediation may get delayed due to parties’ failure to reach an agreement. And that’s where online mediation may prove to be very useful.
Let’s look at some of the main advantages of remote mediation:
- Being able to take a short break & concentrate on something else for a short period of time (e.g. have a snack) if a meeting takes longer than expected.
- Having all the necessary documents with you.
- Being able to do a screen demonstration & present documents to all participants at once.
- No need to travel to another city (if a meeting is scheduled there) .
Disadvantages of Resolving International Disputes Online
There are inevitably some disadvantages to remote mediation:
- Social distancing may interfere with the effectiveness of communication.
- Ability of unauthorized persons to interfere in the mediation process & interrupt it.
- Bad internet connections can undermine the credibility of remote mediation.
Settling International Disputes Online: Useful Tips
- Make sure that the online platform you’re using is sufficiently safe. You can reduce the risk of a security breach & safely resolve an international dispute through online mediation if you ensure that accessing the platform & sharing confidential documents through it is password protected.
- Get in touch with all the participants prior to commencing the mediation procedure. Make sure that all of them can connect to the platform and are able to hear & see one another well.
- It can be quite confusing when people talk to each other in a regular room. And the same applies to the virtual space. Therefore, the mediator should organize online communication in such a way as not to miss any important details.
- WhatsApp or a similar online messenger can be useful for sending and receiving messages during settling a dispute through online mediation (e.g. discussing things during a plenary session).
- Keep the microphone on your computer turned off if you aren’t using it (especially if you need to answer a phone call or solve a household problem).
- When answering a phone call or talking to your family members, turn off your web camera or turn away from the screen.
Virtual mediation can be an effective means of alternative dispute settlement. It may not always be perfect, but it can provide you with some advantages over regular face-to-face meetings. However, just like a normal mediation process, it requires persistence & patience.
Need more detailed information on remote dispute resolution? Seeking legal advice on resolving disputes online? IQ Decision UK is always at your service. Our legal experts will be happy to provide you with a consultation on starting meditation in common law countries.