Although the contents of every mediation is different, they are all governed by the same basic ideas.
Principles essential for a successful mediation are:
The parties cannot be forced to participate. They retain the right to withdraw from the mediation at any time and without giving any reason. Every agreement reached or solution thought of needs the full consent of both sides.
It is only the parties who determine the contents of the mediation. They may include or eliminate topics at any time. This decision is in their sole discretion. A justification has not to be rendered. Different to the role of a judge in a court proceeding the mediator may not interfere with regard to the issues touched. He is exclusively responsible for the process and the structure of the procedure.
Conflicts, controversies or problems can only be solved successfully and permanently if all relevant facts are known and addressed. To decide otherwise and to voluntarily and responsibly wave one’s own claims or rights requires the knowledge of their existence. That is why all aspects of the quarrel have to be revealed and the issues involved have to be discussed.
Mediators are bound to absolute confidentiality with respect to the contents of the mediation. Information and knowledge revealed in the course of the mediation may neither be disclosed to third parties nor used in any way. In a possible future court proceeding between the parties mediators have the privilege to refuse to give evidence.
The parties as well are bound by the obligation of secrecy the concrete contents of which has to be determined by them at the beginning of every procedure. If they do not agree otherwise, they may not reveal any information or knowledge revealed to them by the other parties in any way. They are especially hindered to disclose it to third parties or use it against the opponent.
These principles basically also apply if mediation attempts fail.
The mediator is not partial. He or she does not represent one of the parties; even if being an attorney. However, his or her duty is to support the conflicting opponents neutrally and independently. The mediator has to warrant that all of parties involved get the space and time to express their point of views and that they equally have the possibility to participate in the process of solving their controversy.
Throughout any mediation legal proceedings should not be initiated. The mediator ensures that possible claims and rights do not lapse or become time-barred and that law suits already filed are suspended and no further legal actions are taken.
As party to a mediation you may always rely on the following principle:
Nothing will ever happen against your will!