Mediation, intermediation and negotiations are all different concepts and they have different essence, objectives and methods of conducting and implementation. They also have unique legislative regulations.
The concept of a mediation procedure is established by Article 2 of the Federal Law of 27.07.2010 No. 193-FZ “On alternative procedure for resolving disputes with the participation of a mediator (mediation procedure)”. According to this law, the mediation procedure is understood as a method of settling disputes with the assistance of a mediator with voluntary consent of the parties in order to achieve a mutually acceptable solution.
Mediation is a way to resolve disputes and the essence of mediation is negotiation. The mediator’s task is to set up the parties to jointly look for a solution to the problem and help find an effective way to amiably resolve conflict situations.
The mediation procedure is strictly and procedurally regulated by the law, as well as by the rules of the mediation procedure established by the organizations providing mediation procedures, or by private mediators, or by the parties of the dispute themselves. The mediator is a neutral and independent party who only provides assistance in resolving the dispute.
The concepts of negotiation and intermediation are not established by the current legislation of the Russian Federation. Therefore, there are many doctrines regarding the content of these concepts.
So, in most cases, negotiations are understood as direct communication between the parties to achieve their goals, solve mutual problems, resolve disagreements, and / or conclude mutually beneficial agreements. Negotiation is a process of exchange of views between two or more people, which is carried out with the aim of achieving an agreeable result. One of the main differences between negotiations and mediation is that negotiations can be conducted without the participation of a third neutral party where the parties themselves establish the rules for their conduct. If a third party is invited for negotiations, they can act as an independent mediator, or act on the side of one of the negotiators and help conduct the negotiation process.
The concept of intermediation is broader, one of the components of which is, peaceful settlement of disputes with the participation of a third party. Intermediaries can be one or more individuals or legal entities, as well as states and services which can be provided to two or more parties. The goals of referring to the intermediation procedure can be different and much broader than in the mediation procedure. In other words, to find a mutually acceptable solution for all parties and maintain further cooperation between the parties, or, in other words, to stop hostilities and reach a truce. The intermediary can participate at the request of both the disputing parties, and/or on his own accord.