Pros and Cons of Online Mediation and Covid- 19:
1. What are the opportunities in Online Mediation?
Ans. Mediation is thought of as one of the last step to adjudicate disputes. It is a negotiation between two or more parties facilitated by an agreed-upon third party. Mediators rely on that establishing an understanding is more important for effective online meditation.
Nowadays due to this pandemic online mediation has become a Cost effective and Time saving method as the distance between the two parties allows each party to adapt to the situation at their own place. Each party is given an equal opportunity to express themselves in their best way possible. After the conversation is done the data is also stored for later unforeseeable issues.
Online mediation is suitable for parties who are likely to engage in hostile nonverbal communication as the process of removing implicit signs from a conversation may promote a friendlier environment for the parties to focus on the subject matter of the conflict. Allowing the party to communicate through the Internet barrier guards mediators who are fearful or anxious when dealing with their opponent face-to-face. It's been very interesting to see how quickly people become comfortable in the setting.
2. What can be challenges and disadvantages related to online meditation?
Ans. Online mediation is not a sufficient medium that values the process of facilitative communication. Online mediation may restrain the progression of trust that is a necessary step to increase the likelihood of settlement. Nowadays people are very surprised who use online meditation process for the first time as they might feel how familiar it is that have the sense of being with someone in a face to face sort of situation.
I think, as there is a lack of personal touch so building trust becomes more difficult and rather creates a doubt in the mind of the parties in order to rely upon the various characteristic of the opponent or not.
As a result, online mediation contend that online versions of mediation are a less encouraging forum than its original form because the online atmosphere may impose a blot in the expression of feelings, attention, humor, or sociability.
Online mediation contends that this process carries a disadvantage to participants who are not as technology friendly. The inconsistency between the parties is generally credited to socio economic factors like internet connection, income or education. That is why online mediation disadvantages certain classes of people because of their lack of knowledge in computers.
As online mediation is a digital platform there can be deficiency of Confidentiality .As the data is stored and if any of them are skilled in computer technology later on it can be used in any form without the knowledge of the other party(cyber-attack ).The parties can easily disclose the matter.
3. During Covid-19 can online mediation be transformative?
Ans. In everyday life the crises caused due to this pandemic is the most serious disaster of our times in all aspects including public health, economy, welfare and livelihood. Businesses have either shut actions or are forced to hold digital transformation by working from home. Most businesses or people might find themselves unable to fulfil their requirements which certainly lead to disputes between the parties. The courts have started hearing matters through Video Conferencing but very important and rare cases. So therefore, online mediation amongst other forms of non-adjudicative dispute becomes an importance and essential tool for parties who want a speedy dispute resolution in times of this crisis. We have all been thrust into this new area of online video conferencing as a norm now rather than an exception. The parties can have their own private rooms where they can discuss things as you would in a online mediation setting.
4. How far do you agree with the analysis of online mediation during this pandemic?
Ans. I think that one of the positive benefit is cost, and the cost is in the savings of travel and all the disruption to the regular business that people are having to attend to. It's so easy just to click into any online platform where communication can be done or any other platform where the parties are comfortable to talk. Nowadays it's Zoom or Google meet or whatever medium you're using for your virtual mediation process. It's just so simple to access and work and save your time.
5. Is online mediation suitable forum for clients?
Ans. It depends upon client to client. If both the parties feel comfortable interacting orally rather than texting mails or something, then opting online mediation may result best for them.
For instance - Like in Family Disputes especially in matters of divorce, particularly if a battle of custody is involved with high dimension of emotions and miscommunication so communication through online meditation may change the parties form of communication and abolish any typical responses to nonverbal gestures. The distance between the two parties may be a compatible condition for fair settlement. Online mediation at its most generic level is any system of resolving disputes outside of the Courts. As online mediation is less combat than face to face mediation it may give an advantage especially for family disputes.