Alternative dispute resolution is a broad category that includes a number of methods for resolving disputes.
The two most commonly used areas of ADR are mediation and arbitration. You can get more information about alternative dispute resolution services via https://stat11.ca/dispute-resolution-services.
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Mediation is the process by which a third party, which is generally neutral and unbiased, facilitates the negotiations to arrive at a consensus agreement for the parties. There is no formal decision made by a court but this method does save a lot of time and money.
Arbitration is much more formal than mediation. It is similar to formal adjudication. The process consists of a panel of arbitrators or a third party which or who have been chosen by the parties in the disputes themselves. The panel or third party renders a decision in a way that is less formal than a court but more formal than mediation. The decision does not usually have a written or reasoned opinion and will normally not use the formal rules of evidence when arriving at the conclusion.
The current rise in ADR processes like mediation and arbitration got its start in the 1960s and 1970s. In that era, advocates were concerned with raising the "quality" of the resolution and a way to break the lawyer or legal monopoly on resolving problems.
As a result, community "justice" centers were born in response. These centers stressed that the parties to the dispute needed to be able to control the result of the dispute in a much less polarizing manner than someone simply "winning" and someone else "losing."