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My task is to assess the ways in which ADR 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 invoking the decision-making power of the state or another sanction-imposing body. Both mediation and arbitration are included among such methods. In mediation, the neutral aims for 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 start 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.


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