A process that involves voluntary settlement of disputes can be an informal process that has a mediator helping people to reach agreements, which settle the dispute that they have between them. During the process, settlements are negotiated after important issues are identified, misunderstandings clarified and solutions properly explored.
The process can be undergone through community centres even after cases have landed up on court calendars, though the majority of such action is taken by parties, prior to looking at litigation procedures. It allows parties to come to agreements without the intervention of a judge. The process is not too far from actions normally taken by people throughout their life while working or even at home. It is coming to a solution of a dispute that is the main aim..
Community is a process that normally takes place in neutral settings where privacy is protected and may have more than one professionally trained mediator, who are quite often volunteers, without any stake in the process. When you go in for community mediator these volunteers will listen to both sides while the issues that are in conflict are explained. They may then ask questions that help to clarify issues and also allow the parties in dispute to understand the other's viewpoint. They will then come out with solutions which they believe will address the concern of both parties. If an agreement is reached, this will then be documented for the signature for both the parties to the dispute. During this process the mediator or will remain neutral and refrain from suggesting any course of action, or bringing pressure on one or both the parties to take decisions regarding their disputed matters. The hearings during community are kept confidential in most cases, as long as violence, abuse ore threats are not part of the scenario.
The entire process of community is a purely voluntary one and does not make it binding on either of the parties to go to through the entire process if they feel that their interests are not being protected. Any agreement that is made, lists the dispute and summarizes the solutions that have been arrived at to solve the dispute. This agreement can be made legally binding if both the parties in the dispute agree to make it so. Courts have been responsible for the success of services for the community, because they make a lot of referrals to them in order to reduce their workload. Many of these services are located in courthouses and the legal departments of governments fund such services.
dispute solution through the community has been part of tradition and it is well known that many social disputes seek solution through churches, family meetings or other forms of informal leadership.
can reduce costs of the court system, increase the efficiency of processing cases, and help to improve the quality of justice.