Mediation is an alternative to judicial procedures aimed at solving conflicts by reaching an agreement equally gratifying for both parties, by which there arenít winners or losers, which is usually what judicial procedures do.
The greatest pros of mediation are the reduction of costs and time required, but mostly, regarding the parties involved, it reduces the stress caused by judicial procedures, ever more intense when there are emotional implications, plus through mediation itís possible to achieve an agreement with the same validity as that of a judgement delivered by a judge.
Another of the greatest pros is non-disclosure in the procedure and in the agreement, which canít be found in judicial procedures, therefore nor the mediator neither the parties have to testify or provide documents in a judicial procedure or arbitration regarding the information and documents related to a mediation procedure, with only a few exceptions.
The main goal is reaching an agreement solving the problem, but also fixing the relationship between the parties, usually deteriorated by the conflict.
Any issue can be solved through mediation (mediation is only forbidden in gender-based violence cases) and, although in Spain mediation is usually thought of as family mediation, thereís another strong sector still in development which is corporate disputes in family companies, usually based on a family conflict and consecutively involving major emotional implications. Judicial procedures frequently lead to the termination the companyís activities in this type of cases.
The mediator is a third party who doesnít have the capability of making decisions, unlike a judge, since itís the parties who are in charge of reaching an agreement, which implies that an agreement is only reached when the parties are satisfied with it, and the problem solving is never performed by a third party, but themselves.
The mediatorís role has to be neutral and impartial, enabling communication between parties, helping reach agreements and suggesting solutions when the process is blocked.