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Conciliation with advice

To find a solution, advice from an influential person can help parties to agree. But only if these parties cannot find a solution themselves.

What challenges does it focus on?

To get a convincing opinion about a good solution.

Short summary

To find a solution, advice of an influential person can help parties to agree. The advice can be given when parties can't find a solution themselves. Especially when they disagree about money or other "how much" issues. To support an influential party in giving advice facilitators report the following activities:

  • Identify and involve people who can give advice.
  • Ensure the neutrality of the influential party.
  • Help to organize a fair procedure.
  • Advise the third party to explore with the parties what is the best they can offer.
  • Ask the influential party's opinion on what could be a good solution.

Research evidence

Evidence from practice

Providing conciliation is a common practice in traditional dispute resolution in Cambodia to help people reach an agreement. This practice is found in the communes that CORD included in their mirojustice research on commune dispute resolution. In Australia dispute resolution provders indicate that they recognise and use the different roles in family and labor disputes.

Evidence from literature

Difference between concilation and mediation a fundamental difference between the role of the conciliator and that of a mediator is that the conciliator is a more active intevener, and may have an advisory role on the content and the outcome of a dispute. A mandatory conciliatory roleIn Australian law family mediators are required to share information with parties with regard to the possible content of a parenting plan and the centrality of the 'best interests of the child'. This means that they do not only facilitate the process but have a mandatory conciliatory role as well.

A Comparative Analysis of the practice of mediation and conciliation in Family Dispute Resolution in Australia: how practitioners practice across both borders, Brandoni, M., Stodulka, T., 2008
The interventions of 'expert' third parties have much more influence than the interventions of 'peer' third parties.

Arnold, J. A., O'Connor, K. M. (1999) Ombudspersons of Peers? The effect of third-party expertise and recommendations on negotiation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84(5), pp776-78

Parties recognise the value that conciliators bring to the table. They can relaying parties' positions using neutral or unemotive language. This communication of messages in a palatable form was a tactic for influencing parties and helped ensure that opposing parties were 'more likely to listen'

Dix, G., & Oxenbridge, S. (2004) Coming to the table: The role of Acas in Collective Disputes and Improving Workplace Relationships. Acas working paper. Available at

Best practices