In most countries around the world, mediation is an established and common method of resolving disputes between people. In the USA, only 5% of cases brought to court go to court, the rest are resolved amicably. An agreement reached by resolving a conflict, and not by a settlement – according to the will of, for example, an arbitrator or a judge, is accepted and recognized by the parties. It is difficult to disagree and not respect the decisions in which you actively participated, it is much easier not to recognize and appeal against the judge’s decision. Mediation, which is conducted outside the court, gives the opportunity to talk about problems and conflicts in a neutral, and even friendly atmosphere, conducive to free statements by the parties and the discharge of emotions. Mediation is helpful in all problems and disputes between people. It is conducted in both court and private cases – reported by parties who can no longer deal with problems and conflicts. Among other things, in family, work, peer, neighborhood, economic, school and educational disputes.

Mediation process – the most important steps:
1. Submit the case to mediation.

Civil mediation – family, economic, employment, educational, social etc. – are directed
from district and district courts (based on the decision to refer the case to mediation at the request of a party / parties or a judge) or are conducted on the basis of applications from private persons, companies, institutions, etc.

Penal mediations – are referred from the courts (based on the decision to refer the case to mediation at the request of the party / parties or judge), prosecution, police.

Mediation between a minor perpetrator of a criminal offense and the aggrieved party – referred from family courts on the basis of a decision referring the case to mediation at the request of the party / parties or the judge.

2. Previous mediation meetings – information mediation sessions / meetings
They are conducted with each party separately. During these meetings, the mediator informs the parties about the mediation process, rules, goals and benefits.
from resolving a conflict through mediation. The parties confirm that their participation in mediation is voluntary. The mediator finds out what is the subject of the dispute and what is the point of view of the party on the situation. Also what, according to her, conditions must exist in order to be able to resolve the conflict and reach a settlement that would be satisfactory for both parties.

3. Mediation sessions / meetings
If the parties express their readiness to meet each other “face to face”, a joint session of the parties takes place with the participation of a mediator. If one of the parties does not agree to a direct meeting with the other party for important reasons, but seeks to reach an agreement, there is a possibility of indirect mediation – then the mediator meets only separately with each party, acting as an intermediary in conveying the point of view and expectations of the parties. During mediation sessions / meetings, usually lasting 1-2 hours, the parties explain the most important issues to each other and jointly seek a solution to the conflict between them. Mediators use many helpful techniques during mediation (e.g. active listening, explaining, reflecting feelings,
as well as private meetings), which facilitate communication between the parties. If the parties manage to explain the causes of the dispute, reach an agreement or make arrangements for the future (depending on the type of mediation) – they sign a settlement. The number of mediation sessions / meetings depends on the type of mediation, it can be considered that the average number ranges from 2 to 4.

4. Settlement signing
It is a separate, important stage in mediation proceedings, in which the proper preparation of the mediator plays an important role. He is obliged to ensure that the signed agreement is real and specific. Settlement – arrangements that were developed during the mediation by the parties themselves and which were written down at the end in the form of an agreement. If the parties fail to reach a satisfactory agreement, the case is referred to the authority that sent the case to mediation to be resolved. In the case of mediation, the so-called private parties are left to look for other means of reaching an agreement. The mediator always tries to help the parties to become aware of other possibilities and alternatives.