The mediation procedure, being a flexible and comfortable process for the parties, is based on a number of principles that are strictly followed by professional mediators:
- voluntariness - the participation of all parties in mediation is voluntary both at the stage of entering the procedure, and when discussing proposals and making decisions during mediation. This principle does not deprive one party of the right to initiate mediation and invite the other party to the procedure; the other party independently and voluntarily decides to participate in the procedure. The principle of voluntariness also implies that the parties jointly choose a mediator. Any party has the right to withdraw from mediation at any time.
- confidentiality - everything that is discussed in the mediation process remains within the procedure and is not disclosed to any third parties. The parties have the right to make information about the mediation of a dispute public only by mutual agreement. Due to the principle of confidentiality, even higher requirements are imposed on the mediator than on the parties - the mediator is not entitled to communicate to one party the information received from the other party in an individual conversation, without special permission. If, for any reason, the case is continued in court, the mediator is not entitled to act as a witness.
- cooperation and equality of the parties - neither of the parties has advantages in the mediation procedure, both of them have equal rights and opportunities, and by joint efforts determine the movement towards the goal - a mediation agreement. In practice, this principle is most clearly manifested in the process of discussing a disputable situation, when each party is given the same opportunity to express their opinion, determine a list of issues for discussion, assess the acceptability of the terms of the agreement and have equal time for individual work with a mediator.
- neutrality and independence of the mediator - the mediator ensures an impartial, objective and equal attitude towards each of the parties in the mediation process. The mediator does not give assessments and advice, does not express his opinion on the subject of the dispute, but helps the parties to progressively move towards reaching an agreement on the disputed issues. The parties choose a mediator by joint decision; at the request of the parties, mediation may be conducted by two mediators.