chapter  6
35 Pages

Law and Dispute Resolution

BySteven Vago, Adie Nelson, Veronica Nelson, Steven E. Barkan

This chapter emphasizes, in different contexts, that the law resolves or settles only the legal components of conflicts and disputes, rather than ameliorating the underlying causes. In both the public and private sectors, the intervention of a third party—a person, a government agency, or another institution—can often facilitate dispute resolution among conflicting parties, and there are currently several "hybrid" dispute-resolution processes in use. Terms such as "conflict resolution", "conflict regulation", "conflict management", "dispute processing", "dispute settlement", "dispute resolution", or simply "disputing" are often used more or less interchangeably. In some societies, shaming is used as a form of public reprimand in the disapproval of disputing behavior. Most societies have access to a number of alternative methods of dispute resolution. The primary dispute resolution mechanisms can be depicted on a continuum ranging from negotiation to adjudication. Related to mediation is the ombudsman/ombudsperson process, which combines mediatory and investigatory functions in dispute resolution.