Conciliation: another form of ADR, that is effective and cheap!

NADRC (National ADR Council) defines Conciliation as, A dispute resolution process, where the Conciliator, acts as an advisory to the disputing parties and the outcome of the dispute but not be determinative of the same. (As referred in Resolution Institution)

A Conciliator is a combination of mediator, collaborator, negotiator and an arbitrator. However, he/she does not have any legal rights as an arbitrator to enforce his judgement in the dispute resolutions. He/ she actively takes part in the negotiations but don’t remain as not as neutral as a mediator.

A conciliator recognises the disputes, marks the agenda, actively motivates the parties to compromise and work on fair outcome.

In some cases, where the conciliation is advised by a statue, the conciliator must ensure the outcome adheres to the respective laws and that the outcome is enforced.

The Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia has laid down some rules for Conciliators. Here are they for your easy read, so that you are informed when you seek such service.

Conciliation and Conciliators


  • The conciliation is a process that involves negotiations, finding a middle ground, drawing expert advice from the conciliator, knowing the consequences of the decisions, and being advised on legal implications.
  • The conciliator must be highly knowledgeable and adept at dealing with various kinds of personalities and emotionally charged situations, to offer conciliation services.
  • Either the couple can choose a Conciliator or agree to work with a Conciliator appointed by the institute.
  • The couple seeking conciliation services for out-of-court settlement can be satisfied with the fact that like mediation services, the conciliation services too are bound by confidentiality clause. And cannot be disclosed unless ordered by law.
  • The Key difference between Mediation and Conciliation is, in Conciliation Meetings, the parties themselves or their representatives may carry out the discussion. Unlike, mediation where parties must be personally present.

    Termination of the Conciliation Agreement


    Just by signing the written document and intimating the other parties and the Conciliator, the conciliation can be terminated.The Conciliator cannot switch roles and act as an arbitrator, if the couple cannot agree on an outcome and the conciliation efforts are not getting anywhere.

    Separation and Conciliation

    Having explained what is conciliation and how it works, I feel conciliation is quite suitable for the couple who are looking for peaceful resolution along with some push from an authority. The couple also gain from the timely advice by the Conciliator to act on it and use it in arriving at mutually satisfying outcome.

    Since the Conciliator is bit of everything, the couple can take advantage of practical outlook, skilful mediation and shrewd decision making.

    The conciliation services can be provided by a professionally trained practitioner or a family or divorce lawyers specialised in alternative dispute resolution.

    The family courts provide Registrars as Conciliators to service separating couple.

    The alternative dispute resolutions provide quick solutions in less cost and time. Mediation, conciliation, collaborative law and arbitration are different means of ADR. Try them in your tough times of life (separation and divorce) for smooth transition of both of you and your children.

    Check out the video below to know more about ADRs: