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Mediation is a process whereby the parties choose a Mediator to assist them in resolving their dispute. The Mediator does not decide the dispute for the parties, it is up to them to find a solution. The Mediator is neutral and impartial and will hear each side of their dispute in an open forum in order to encourage dialogue and achieve a mutually acceptable outcome. In that sense, this is a structured negotiation between the parties and facilitated by the Mediator.

The Mediator does not necessarily need to have knowledge of the matter in dispute. However, in highly technical matters, this may be an advantage because if the parties are unable to compromise themselves, the Mediator will meet each party privately to discuss their positions and identify the weaknesses in the other party’s arguments. The Mediator will then use a process of “shuttle diplomacy” to convey those weaknesses and/or offers to settle. Where appropriate, the Mediator may then invite the parties back together to formalize a final settlement.