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Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Alternative Dispute Resolution

20. Conciliation  

This chapter assesses conciliation, which is a voluntary process whereby a neutral third party facilitates negotiations between the parties to a dispute and assists them to reach a settlement. In England and Wales, conciliation tends to be court-driven and it is most often used in family and employment cases. In employment cases, the parties must attempt mandatory Early Conciliation with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) before a claim is issued in the Employment Tribunal, and conciliation can also be undertaken by ACAS after a claim has been lodged if Early Conciliation did not result in a settlement. In-court conciliation also takes place in family cases in disputes relating to children and money on the breakdown of the relationship between the parties. In addition, a number of independent conciliation schemes exist to help consumers solve disputes in relation to goods or services.