Resolving Conflict Outside of Court

Resolving Conflict Outside of Court

Conflicts can be resolved without going to court. Going to court is an expensive, lengthy, and stressful procedure. There are no guarantees that you will get what you want. Dispute resolution gives you and the other people involved more control over the outcomes.

Dispute resolution means resolving conflict outside of court. This publication explains these types of dispute resolution:

  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Collaborative Practice
  • Arbitration

There may be other types of dispute resolution that you can access, such as a restorative justice circle.

  • What are the benefits of dispute resolution?

    Some possible benefits of dispute resolution include:

    • Everyone gets to talk about the conflict and how the it affects them.
    • Everyone participates in finding a solution.
    • It may be more private and collaborative than going to court.
    • It may cost less.
    • It may be less stressful.
    • The solution may be more likely to address everyone’s needs.
    • It may improve relationships and communication.
  • What is negotiation?

    Negotiation is communicating to try and reach an agreement. Negotiation is an option available to everyone. It can be direct or indirect. You can work together directly with the other person, without help from anyone else. You can also hire a professional, such as a lawyer, to represent you.

  • What is mediation?

    Mediation is when you, the other side, and a mediator try to resolve disagreements. The mediator is neutral and helps you communicate with each other to resolve conflicts.

    Mediation is confidential. Anything said in mediation cannot be used against those involved later.

    Mediation is usually voluntary. Generally, a mediated agreement is final. 

  • What is collaborative practice?

    Collaborative practice is when opposite sides in a family law matter negotiate a settlement together with collaborative practice lawyers and other professionals. Everyone must agree to keep the dispute out of court.

  • What is arbitration?

    Arbitration is when all sides agree to have someone outside their conflict (an arbitrator) find a solution for them.

    Usually, an arbitrator is an experienced professional trained to review evidence and make a decision.

    Arbitration is often used for resolving:

    • Labour disputes between employees and employers.
    • Commercial disputes between companies.


This publication explains what Dispute Resolution is and some of the options available on PEI. Contact us for paper copies.

The information in this guide is not legal advice and does not replace guidance from a lawyer.