Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a way of resolving disputes out of court. ADR usually involves negotiation between people in dispute, with or without the help of a neutral third person. People can therefore use ADR as a way of solving problems themselves.
ADR includes direct unassisted negotiation between people, lawyer to lawyer negotiation, mediation, conciliation, expert appraisal, expert determination and arbitration. A common feature of these processes is that the people in dispute have control over the process and the outcome. That is, a decision is not imposed on them unless they agree in advance to be bound by the determination of a third party.
ADR encourages those in dispute to work out their interests and needs and explore creative ways of finding solutions which meet those needs. Even where people have different needs and interests it is sometimes possible to satisfy them all without having to compromise.