Mediation Services

The Council’s mediation process involves the use of collaborative techniques by a mediator who is a neutral third party. The mediator informally assists disputing parties in voluntarily reaching their own mutually acceptable settlement of some or all of the issues in dispute by structuring the negotiation, maintaining the channels of communication, articulating the needs of each party, and identifying the issues. Mediators must be committed to a process that is: voluntary; private; confidential; self-determining; creative; practical and flexible.

Why ITC Mediation?

Quick: Mediation sessions are normally held within 30 days.

Informal: The mediation process will not result in court or police records.

Peaceful: Voluntarily resolving problems shows goodwill and builds cooperation.

Empowering: Both sides are in control of the outcome; solutions are reached only when both agree. If at any time either party is uncomfortable with the process they may stop it.

Role of International Trade Council Mediators

The mediator acts as a facilitator to encourage discussion and negotiation between the parties. The mediator is not a judge, hears no evidence, and makes no decisions. Rather, the mediator is an impartial facilitator who guides the participants through conversations designed to help them discuss their differences, brainstorm new ideas, and create effective solutions reflective of their individual and collective needs. No one participant is singled out for blame and no party is given more power than the other.

The mediator uses several methods to accomplish a productive session: setting and enforcing ground rules, acting as a timekeeper, gathering information through questioning and clarification, and encouraging a respectful dialog while allowing emotional ventilation to take place.

Most cases are heard by two mediators who are selected by the assigned Case Specialist. It is important to understand that mediators are not allowed to give legal or other professional advice (even if he or she is an attorney, CPA, counsellor, or other professional). Parties are encouraged to obtain legal counsel and to consult with other professionals as determined by the specific elements of the case. Each mediator is bound by a Code of Ethics, which requires the mediator to refrain from offering legal or professional advice to any parties. In addition, mediators are required to serve as neutral third parties and many not impose any decision on the parties. Any agreement reached will be as designed and intended by the parties.

What Happens During Mediation?

Mediations are scheduled for half-day sessions which can start in the morning or afternoon, according to the preference of the parties. Sessions may be conducted in person or via video conference. Telephone conference mediation only is not allowed.

Each party is required to submit all documentation relevant to the case to the mediator at least 7 working days before the scheduled session. The mediation session will begin with each party stating his or her side of the case. Then, the mediator(s) will facilitate the exchange of information in an effort to find areas of agreement. If the mediators feel that a private meeting would be more productive, they will move the parties to caucus and consult with each party separately. The ultimate goal of the mediation is to resolve the dispute, with the parties entering a written, legally binding agreement to settle the case. For cases that are court-ordered or part of an active court case, the parties will need to file the agreement with the Court, in a format that meets the requirements of the Court. Generally, this is done by one of the parties’ attorneys, as agreed upon during the mediation session.

The ITC focuses on the promotion of mediation in commercial disputes, the improvement of access to justice for business, and the improvement of contacts, exchange of information and networking.