Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR) is an alternative mode of practice compared to the systems established by states and governments (such as litigation and judicial system) involving both legal and judicial settlement of a dispute. In French, it is called the ‘Mode Alternatif de Résolution des Conflits” (MARC).
These modes have been the topic of a Green Paper on Alternative Dispute Resolution in civil and commercial law within the European Commission which plans to promote these new modes of conflict resolution.
Researches have led to identify the logical identification of two main modes of reflection to consider conflict resolution:
Therefore, effective tools like mediation ease the resolution of conflicts, may it be a litigation (technical aspects are dominant), a crisis (emotional aspects are dominant) or a conflict (technical, emotional and legal aspects).
 General Points
Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to processes and techniques of conflict resolution out of the legal proceedings under state authority.
Today the best-known practice of ADR is mediation. Relevance and interest of this mode is the following:
- No heavy procedures or processes;
- Manageable and predictable costs;
- Preference for confidentiality;
- Parties are the ones to decide the outcome.
A method of conflict resolution is considered as alternative regarding the conventional system of decision to which it refers, i.e. the legal system.
With regards to the court system that imposes decisions, any process that aims at enabling parties in conflict to seek and take their own decision in order to reach their own solution and solve the conflict shall be considered as an alternative. Similarly, during a contentious relationship with administration, the negotiation or intervention of a third-party that enables to avoid a legal procedure shall also be considered also as an alternative.
The word 'discussion' is often used with the term alternative. Namely, an alternative mode should present two possibilities. However, the term "alternative discussion" tends to mean that there is another way to resolve conflicts that is different from power struggles.