The undiscovered potential of mediation | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 02, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:03 AM, August 02, 2016

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The undiscovered potential of mediation

In financial sectors like banking or insurance, “time is money” is not a mere quote, it is indeed the case. An alternative course of action, if present, would actually save time and expenses by averting cumbersome litigation proceedings.

Mediation refers to such a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which the parties to a lawsuit meet with a neutral third-party to help them come to a conclusion. The third-party is called a mediator. It is this person's job to address and refer to the evidence, help the litigants perceive each other's point of view and interests, and then catalyse the negotiation of a voluntary resolution to the case. It's a form of out of court settlement, which is less expensive and also less time consuming.

For example mediation affords banks an opportunity to deal with borrowers for repayments outside traditional remedies like debt or bankruptcy proceedings. In that way, banks get to keep a positive non- aggressive image with their clientele, get crucial repayment of often large amount of debts in time, and do not have to invest in long duration court battles. Mediation is also cost effective in the way that both sides bear their own costs or they share the fees. The party with outweighing interest doesn't incur a huge amount in his effort to resolve the dispute, which unfortunately is not unheard of in litigation.There is a potential that the cost of enforcement will absorb  10% -15% of any recovery through litigation. There is no measure of the worry, stress and anxiety that debtors, their families and bank representatives will endure throughout the litigation process.

The mediation process is conducted on a without bias and parties retain their legal rights. If an outcome/settlement cannot be sorted out then the parties' legal rights as against each other are preserved. Hence, exploring of mediation as a possible means of achieving a result does not compromise either party's position.

Parties are free from prejudice but at the same time they retain sufficient control over the dispute too. The solution comes from the parties themselves, through mutual formal compromise.

To facilitate mediation in banking sectors, Bangladesh Bank has given an advice to all the banks to use the mediation facilities of Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC) to conduct a formal and international standard mediation to resolve money loan and other banking disputes with their other ends.

BIAC has already conducted Mediations between banks and their client's ends acting as the mediator. They have 37 enlisted mediators from various backgrounds like lawyers, ex government officers and advisors, former justices and judges and from various field of profession. If we rely more on Alternative Dispute Resolution, then we will be able to overcome with the current backlog of cases in the Courts.  To know more about the facilities that BIAC provides please look into http://biac.org.bd .

 

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