Most  people who find themselves engulfed in a dispute feel the only option is to resort to litigation, only a few actually ask the question why litigation. At this point only those who think outside the box have actually found ways to resolve their disputes through alternative means.

The current state of events in Syria could culminate in the Syrian government facing the International Criminal Court. However, currently we are all unsure of how the conflict will end. This means resolving the conflict by litigation is temporarily ruled out, rather the use of an alternative dispute mechanism, notably negotiation has been used.  Where there is a conflict or dispute, a resolution is required. ADR as a matter of principle advocates for the resolution of disputes by means such as mediation, negotiation/dialogue, facilitation and other hybrid forms of ADR.

I have intentionally omitted arbitration because arbitration by its structure and as preached by its practitioners see this form of resolving disputes as distinct and therefore separate from other forms of ADR. Interestingly, with the recent visit of the former United Nations  Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan to Syria, the negotiating mechanism was seen to have played a vital role in allaying fears of the Syrian people to an extent; all because a dialogue seems to have taken place.  How the execution of the agreement over the agreed terms by the Syrian government would eventually unfold sooner than later is yet to be understood, to the world and most importantly to the Syrian people.

The power of ADR in the resolution of disputes cannot be undermined. A whole lot of conflicts /disputes in the world can either be averted or curtailed if ADR is used increasingly in such an early stage  by the people as well as the States.

Negotiation at work, this can be effective mostly where some respected person in the society, institution, or persons mandated to negotiate on behalf of others undertake the task of resolving a conflict/dispute. Negotiation has brought positive results where there is mutual respect and civil attitude between parties.

This means ADR most often starts with the question why can’t this conflict/dispute be resolved peacefully and quickly in other to avoid more problems. The recipient of the problem or the hardship seems to be the one who normally extends his/her hand in good gesture with the big question saying lets end the feud amicably.

I guess that is why negotiation is often referred to as the gentleman’s agreement. Wondering why negotiation does not play a dominant role in human relationship as it should?