In conciliation, an independent person (the conciliator) tries to help the people in dispute to resolve their problem. The conciliator should be impartial and should not take one party’s side.

There is no general agreement over whether conciliation is different from mediation. Essentially, conciliation is much the same as mediation – a conciliator, like a mediator, is an independent, impartial third party who helps people resolve a dispute. It’s just that, in some particular types of dispute resolution, the term ‘conciliation’ is used rather than ‘mediation’.

In some conciliation schemes, the process is dealt with over the phone or on paper, rather than through a face-to-face meeting.