My task is to assess the ways in which alternative dispute resolution procedures may be adapted to deal with international labor disputes. ADR refers to various methods by which neutral third parties assist persons engaged in a conflict to settle their differences without involving the decision-making power of the state or other sanction-imposing body. Both mediation and arbitration are included. In mediation the neutral seeks to get the parties to agree on a mutually acceptable solution. In arbitration the neutral imposes a solution after presentations by the contending parties. A third term, conciliation, is sometimes used and generally connotes a milder form of intervention than mediation. A conciliator may simply get the parties talking and do little to direct the course of their exchanges. A mediator usually aims at a more structured dialogue. In each instance, the ADR procedure is a substitute for a more formal adversarial action before a court or administrative agency. At their best, mediation and arbitration have the advantages of speed, cost savings, and informality over court or administrative proceedings.
St. Antoine, Theodore J. "ADR without Borders." Law Quad. Notes 45, no. 3 (2003): 77-82. (Essay based on a talk delivered in May 2002 in The Hague as part of the Permanent Court of Arbitration's international law seminar "Labor Law Beyond Borders: ADR and the Internationalization of Labor Disputes.")