Association for Conflict Resolution ACRNet.org

  • Who We Are: ACR embraces and acknowledges the full spectrum of peaceful conflict resolution and recognizes the value of cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural connections to enhance conflict resolution choices universally.
  • ACR Vision: All people know their choices for conflict resolution.
  • ACR Mission: ACR gives voice to the choices for quality conflict resolution.
  • ACR’s Strategic Plan: … (full text about us).

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Address: Association for Conflict Resolution, 12100 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 130, Reston, Virginia 20190, USA;
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What is conflict resolution /FAQs? … There are many ways to resolve conflicts – surrendering, running away, overpowering your opponent with violence, filing a lawsuit, etc.  

The movement toward Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), sometimes referred to simply as conflict resolution, grew out of the belief that there are better options than using violence or going to court. Today, the terms ADR and conflict resolution are used somewhat interchangeably and refer to a wide range of processes that encourage nonviolent dispute resolution outside of the traditional court system. The field of conflict resolution also includes efforts in schools and communities to reduce violence and bullying and help young people develop communication and problem-solving skills. Common forms of conflict resolution include:

  • Negotiation is a discussion among two or more people with the goal of reaching an agreement.
  • Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which a neutral third-party facilitator helps people discuss difficult issues and negotiate an agreement. Basic steps in the process include gathering information, framing the issues, developing options, negotiating, and formalizing agreements. Parties in mediation create their own solutions and the mediator does not have any decision-making power over the outcome.
  • Arbitration is a process in which a third-party neutral, after reviewing evidence and listening to arguments from both sides, issues a decision to settle the case. Arbitration is often used in commercial and labor/management disputes.
  • Mediation-Arbitration is a hybrid that combines both of the above processes. Prior to the session, the disputing parties agree to try mediation first, but give the neutral third party the authority to make a decision if mediation is not successful.
  • Early Neutral Evaluation involves using a court-appointed attorney to review a case before it goes to trial. The attorney reviews the merits of the case and encourages the parties to attempt resolution. If there is no resolution, the attorney informs the disputants about how to proceed with litigation and gives an opinion on the likely outcome if the case goes to trial.
  • Community Conferencing is a structured conversation involving all members of a community (offenders, victims, family, friends, etc.) who have been affected by a dispute or a crime. Using a script, the facilitator invites people to express how they were affected and how they wish to address and repair the harm that resulted.
  • Negotiated Rulemaking is a collaborative process in which government agencies seek input from a variety of stakeholders before issuing a new rule.
  • Peer Mediation refers to a process in which young people act as mediators to help resolve disputes among their peers. The student mediators are trained and supervised by a teacher or other adult.

What Types of Disputes Can Be Addressed Through Conflict Resolution?

  • Conflict resolution can be used to help resolve almost any type of dispute. Family mediators, for example, help people with divorce, custody issues, parent-child or sibling conflicts, elder care issues, family business concerns, adoption, premarital agreements, neighbor disputes, etc. Other types of conflicts that respond well to alternative dispute resolution include workplace disputes, labor/management issues, environmental/public policy issues, health care disputes, international conflicts, and many others.

How Do I Find a Qualified Mediator?

  • Mediation is the most commonly used form of ADR and is the service most requested by members of the public. The Association for Conflict Resolution maintains a referral list of family mediators who have met ACR’s training and experience criteria. This list is available on the ACR Web site.
  • Another good source for mediator referrals is www.mediate.com. The ACR Family Section also maintains a list of FAQs that specifically address family mediation issues.
  • In the future, ACR will expand its referral list to include qualified ACR members that practice in areas other than family mediation.
  • Court-appointed mediators can be volunteers, salaried court employees, mediators in private practice, or mediators who are affiliated with a local community mediation center.

How Much Does a Typical Mediation Cost?

  • Solving conflicts through mediation or other ADR processes usually takes less time and costs less money than litigation. Costs vary widely, depending on the complexity of the case and the experience and training of the mediator. Mediators come from a variety of professions, including law, social work, human resources, psychology, education, ministry, and others. Their hourly rate usually reflects their training and years of experience. For example, some mediators may work with low-income clients on a volunteer basis, while others are highly paid lawyers who include ADR as part of their practice.

What Are the Benefits of Mediation?

  • Mediation allows parties to maintain greater control of their lives and make their own decisions. The process fosters understanding, cooperation, and agreements that work for both parties. It usually costs less money and takes less time than litigation, and compliance with agreements is often higher than with court-imposed judgments. Another primary benefit is privacy. The process is confidential, allowing parties to avoid public disclosure of sensitive information in the courts.

What Training Is Required to Become a Mediator?

  • There are no national training requirements or credentials for mediators. Some states have requirements for mediators to be listed in court referral rosters. There is an increasing trend toward mediator rosters and credentialing programs through professional organizations. For example, Family Mediation Canada has an extensive credentialing program, and ACR maintains a roster of qualified family mediators.
  • Most new mediators begin with a 40-hour basic training and a 20-hour advanced training. Some people begin their practice by volunteering at a community mediation center or co-mediating cases with an experienced mediator. Others go on to complete an advanced degree and/or certificate program in conflict resolution at a college or university. There are many specialized conflict resolution programs at institutions of higher learning in the U.S., and hundreds more that offer courses related to peace and conflict resolution. For more information about programs in higher education, visit Campus Conflict Resolution Resources or see “Academic Programs” at www.mediate.com. For a list of ACR-approved family mediation trainers, please visit the ACR Web site.
  • In 2000, COPRED (the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development, now merged with the Peace Studies Association into the Peace and Justice Studies Association, or PJSA) produced a Global Directory of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution Programs, which describes undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs at 381 colleges and universities in 42 countries.

How Can I Help My Child Learn Conflict Resolution Skills? .. (full long text).

Links:

  • WikiMediation: international observatory of mediation is initiated by the mediators supported by European Commission;
  • WikiMediation, observatoire international de la médiation;
  • WikiMediation, iniciado pela comunidade de profissionais mediadores;
  • WikiMediation, ein internationales Observatorium der Mediation.

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