Alternative forms of resolving disagreements and disputes have gained immense popularity. Individuals and companies are moving from litigation and lawsuits toward alternatives.
The most common forms of resolving disagreements include arbitration and mediation. Previously, heavy reliance was placed upon Litigation and lawsuits.
All the forms of dispute resolution approaches are being encouraged as compared to overgoing to courts.
UAE has been the central business hub in recent years. The UAE actively advocates for alternative dispute resolution. It is also called ADR. It is the most practical method used to resolve any kind of disagreements, disputes, and conflicts.
It saves a lot of time and is equally beneficial for all the beneficiaries in the matter. It is a supporting solution for all the stakeholders involved in the legal case.
Nonetheless, it saves a lot of energy and resources as well. Under litigation or lawsuits, a huge amount is exhausted to take over the legal proceedings.
ADR has significantly evolved in recent times. With the advent of new techniques and technology being adopted worldwide. One such technique being introduced is called the Settlement Conference. It falls under the broader term of Mediation.
The UAE has actively supported the concept of mediation and Settlement conferences. It encourages the stakeholders involved to resolve the legal matter by conducting meetings, conferences, or gatherings.
Understanding the Concept of Settlement Conference
A Settlement Conference is a meeting or a conference where two or more parties in a dispute meet. They try to find a mutual solution to a common problem. They prefer settling the matters instead of going to trial.
The basic aim is to avoid court trials and court proceedings. The priority is given to an outside court settlement.
They can gather to discuss the problems and reach a common ground. A consensus is reached after a meeting of the parties involved. It is also known as a round table conference.
Usually, it is voluntary. It is initiated by any of the parties involved. In some cases, it becomes mandatory when the court orders for the settlement conference. The court may order a settlement conference before moving the legal case for the court proceedings.
Typically, it takes place in civil matters including breach of a contract, a divorce case, and others. On the other hand, in criminal cases, settlements may take place at the victim’s discretion.
How a Settlement Conference Functions
The involved parties attend the settlement conference. They are accompanied by their attorneys and presided over by a judge.
The judge is informed accordingly about the dispute by the parties. Following this, the parties meet with the attorneys to hear their claims.
The main aim is to find a common ground. Once the parties agree upon a solution, the settlement is documented. Following this, it is reviewed and accordingly signed by the involved parties.
Advantages of Choosing a Settlement Conference
All the ADRs provide a set of benefits to their users. Nonetheless, there are several advantages attached to the Settlement Conference.
Timely Resolution is possible now. All kinds of disagreements and Disputes are resolved within a reasonable timeframe. It is a way to avoid prolonged litigation. It also secures us from wasting our precious time.
It prevents both sides from one-sided judgments and verdicts. Now, both can benefit from the overall decision.
It saves a great degree of Cost and Time. By avoiding litigation, parties save on substantial costs. Moreover, the time-consuming nature of court proceedings can also be avoided.
It leads to Risk Avoidance. Both Parties can carefully consider the risks associated with litigation.
Drawbacks of a Settlement Conference
As the Settlement Conference has its merits, it also has limitations attached to it. There are Limitations on Claims while settling the dispute. It implies reaching a middle ground. Besides, it restricts the parties from exercising all their claims.
There is a lot of dependency on Negotiation Skills. It poses a risk if the evidence supporting a claim is quite weak.
It is not Universally Applicable. Not every case is suitable for a settlement conference. It is highly practiced in the UAE.
UAE Actively Incorporates Settlement Conferences into the Legal Landscape
UAE emphasizes the formation of a committee named the Family Guidance Committee. They work to address family matters before they reach court.
The parties are ordered to resolve matters governed by the law. If reconciliation is not possible, the case moves to court.
They handle all the matters within the jurisdictions before the issue moves to trial.
UAE establishes mediation Centers in the Court of First Instance. The centers handle civil and commercial disputes.
A Way Forward
It serves as an effective tool for resolving disputes in the UAE’s legal landscape. It is aligned with the global trend toward alternative dispute resolution.
By providing parties with a platform to collaborate on a solution. The conferences contribute to timely and mutually satisfactory outcomes. It reduces the burden on the legal system.
The UAE’s integration of settlement conferences into its legal framework. It reflects a commitment to foster a balanced and efficient approach.