One of the distinguishing features of ADR proceedings is the introduction of a neutral third person, usually trained in conflict resolution techniques, to help the parties resolve their dispute. With few exceptions, this neutral is there to help, not decide. Neutrals in well-known ADR processes like mediation and facilitation have no power to decide the issues in dispute or to impose terms on any party. Their power lies in whatever skill they have to encourage the parties to find their own resolution to their dispute. Both the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act (ADRA) of 1996 and the FAR are very expansive in their definition of a neutral, in keeping with the overall philosophy of ADR that the parties exercise self-determination to decide who their neutral shall be and, in many cases, what their their role will be.
Subpages (5): Contracted Neutral Services | Ethics for Neutrals | Neutral Defined | Protection of Neutrals | Selection Factors