HR Glossary
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Updated on:
August 23, 2022


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What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a method of resolving disputes outside of the traditional court system. ADR can be voluntary or mandatory and can include arbitration, mediation, or negotiation. ADR is commonly used for disputes between individuals and businesses, but may also be used for cases between countries.

ADR is an alternative to litigation. In litigation, a judge or jury makes a decision, and the loser must abide by that verdict. In ADR, the decision is decided outside of the court system. The two sides agree to the conditions of ADR to settle their dispute. The terms of their agreement are put into writing and signed by both parties.

Which Disputes Can Be Settled by Alternative Dispute Resolution?

ADR processes are commonly used in a wide variety of civil disputes between individuals and/or organizations. These disputes may involve such topics as: 

  • Family and divorce
  • Housing
  • Neighborhood
  • Environment
  • Employment
  • Business
  • Consumer issues
  • Personal injury

Some countries also use alternative dispute resolution in certain criminal matters, such as juvenile crime. 

ADR processes are necessary in order to provide people with an opportunity to resolve disputes without resorting to litigation. ADR can help to save time and money, and can also help to preserve relationships. In addition, ADR can be used to resolve disputes that might otherwise be difficult to resolve through the court system.