1. What is Mediation ?
Mediation is a non adversarial and not necessarily a state (official) conducted form of solving, preventing or managing disputes. In Mediation, the interested parties keep control of the final decision, while the process is led by the Mediator, an impartial third party who acts as a facilitator to keep the process flowing. This professional is trained to use the communication, negotiation and mediation techniques to help the parties come to a satisfactory agreement.

2. What are the main characteristics of Mediation ?
Mediation is based on the good faith and autonomous will of the parties. In other words they are not obliged to submit their disputes to a solution through mediation practices. It is a fast and efficient way to solve conflicts. Privacy is guaranteed throughout the process since it is not a public or official form of solving disputes. Results are attained by means of negotiations, understanding, consensus and agreement. The process is informal and flexible, and the commercial or personal relationship between the parties is preserved.

3. Who conducts the process ?
In most countries Mediation is conducted by a Mediator, who is usually associated to a private entity, whereas the official judiciary process is conducted by official tribunals. In Pernambuco the Mediation Institute is called CEMAPE - Mediation and Arbitration Center of Pernambuco

4. What qualities should a Mediator have ?
Mediators are professionals of different areas who have been trained in mediation methods which permit them to conduct an agreement process to enable different parties to reach mutually satisfactory resolutions. The mediator is obliged to a no-disclosure commitment, and must be impartial, dedicated and competent in his activities as such.

5. How does it work ?
A mediation session is requested by any one of the parties, or attorneys, and will only occur when both parties agree to submit their dispute to this form of resolution. The mediation sessions are conducted by a mediator, and the parties may be accompanied by their lawyers or not. Sessions may be with both parties simultaneously or with each party at a time. At the end of the process, having reached an agreement or not, the result will be recorded on a document, in which the terms of the agreement (or disagreement) will be summarized.

6. What kind of disputes may be solved by mediation?
Examples of different situations:
Family matters: divorce negotiations between ex-couples, revision of alimony, which parent will be responsible for the children, conflicts between parents and teenagers;
Companies and Institutions: prevention and resolution of internal and external conflicts, such as between a company and its clients;
Civil: Insurance payments, real estate and property rent, inheritance, etc;
Commercial: Credit titles, freight, insurance, delivery of goods, domestic and international commerce, Mercosul.

7. In what does mediation differ from Arbitration and Conciliation ?
Arbitration and Conciliation are also extra-judiciary forms of dispute resolution. In Conciliation the Conciliator gives his opinions and proposes different solutions. In Arbitration, the arbitrator decides a solution much like a judge. In Mediation, the mediator leads the process to allow the parties to build their own solution. Mediation also aims at improving the relations between the parties involved.

8. In case Mediation fails, may the parties solve their dispute by Arbitration or in Justice Tribunal ?
Yes. Despite the fact that Mediation is the way of solving a dispute in consensual manner, it does not prevent any of the parties from trying to solve his / her dispute by Arbitration or in a Justice Tribunal.

9. What are the other advantages of Mediation ?
Being a private and consensual form of dispute resolution, and being conducted in pace with the will of the parties involved, it is faster and a cheaper. It also permits the parties to preserve their image, for Mediation is a non public, therefore secret process of problem solving. Furthermore, being a consensual way of building a solution, it will generate less emotional and psychological stress, and allow the parties to maintain their relationship (very often of a commercial nature).

10. How much does it cost ?
Being a private form of solving disputes, Mediation costs are established by private arbitration institutes and can be known by the parties beforehand. Usually costs are based on the amounts of the issues involved.

11. To what extent is a mediation agreement valid?
The strength of an agreement obtained by the Mediation method is that it is a result of a consensus in which a mutual understanding has been reached. Since the result is recorded on a document and signed by both parties its value is like that of any other contract.

12. Who chooses the Mediator ?
The parties are free to choose the Mediator that best fits their needs. The best way to do this is to choose from a list of professionals related to a Mediation and Arbitration Institute such as CEMAPE in Pernambuco.