Some of the many benefits to utilizing the services of Community Mediation are that:
- The parties to a dispute control the outcome of their dispute, not a judge or jury.
- Any issue between individuals, families or groups in the community can be discussed and resolved. However, the issues under consideration must not contravene any common law or statute.
- Community mediation promotes communication and cooperation. It is fast, non-adversarial, informal, and builds relationships. Therefore, it promotes harmony and healing within the family and community.
- Community mediation is cost effective and less expensive than litigation. The full cost of the process is met by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, except where the parties on their own volition engage the services of an attorney, expert or some other party.
- Generally, mediation teaches people how to negotiate. This is a transferable skill which can be used in any aspect of life and for future problem resolution.
- Mediation is a confidential process. The sessions are not recorded or transcribed and notes taken during the mediation session are shredded at the end of the process.
- It is private, only persons directly involved in the dispute or their representatives are allowed in the Hearing Room along with the mediator, therefore personal problems are not aired publicly.
- Community mediation is quicker and more efficient than the trial process. It allows parties to resolve their issues within their communities in an environment that is familiar and non-threatening.
- Mediation allows the parties to craft solutions to best meet their collective needs.
- It is future focused since it allows families and communities to maintain relationships, move forward and grow.
- By agreeing to mediate, parties do not give up their rights to pursue more formal avenues to resolve the conflict if mediation does not result in a solution.
- Mediation is fair. Mediators are neutral third parties who have no interest in the outcome. Their role is to help the parties resolve the matter. The mediator, as a neutral third party, can view the dispute objectively and can assist the parties in exploring alternatives which they might not have considered on their own.
- Settlement agreements secured during mediation do not constitute an admission of guilt by any party or a relinquishing of the right to settle the matter using alternative legitimate means.
- Mediation avoids lengthy and unnecessary litigation.
- Parties are directly engaged in the negotiation of the solution. Therefore, it allows them to control decisions affecting their family, finances, business, divorce, custody problems and other aspects of life.
- Since community mediation can be scheduled at an early stage in the dispute it avoids the buildup of acrimony and ill-will which often develop from prolonged feuding.
- Sessions could be scheduled at times convenient to all parties and at locations that are close to their homes, in a comfortable, welcoming environment. This facilitates participation and commitment to the process.