Mediation is based on the principle of party self-determination. Self-determination is the act of coming to a voluntary, uncoerced decision in which each party makes free and informed choices as to process and outcome.
Mediation is one of the types of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Mediation serves to preserve relationships developing a system that is collaborative and not adversarial like litigation, by focusing on the way to reach an agreement, a solution to a conflict and not focusing on who created the conflict.
Mediation means an intervention in dispute negotiations by a trained neutral third party, the mediator, with the purpose of assisting the parties to reach their own solution. This definition can be found in the Uniform Mediation Act (last reviewed in 2003) and the Colorado Dispute Resolution Act C.R.S. §13-22-302.