Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) includes dispute resolution processes and techniques that act as a means for disagreeing parties to come to an agreement instead of litigation. It is a collective term for the ways that parties can settle disputes, with the assistant of a third party.
ADR has gained widespread acceptance among both the general public and the legal profession in recent years. In fact, some courts now require parties to resort to ADR of some kind, usually mediation; before permitting the parties' cases to be heard.
The rising popularity of ADR can be explained by the increasing caseload of traditional courts, the perception that ADR imposes fewer costs than litigation, a preference for confidentiality, and the aim of parties to have greater control over the selection of the individual or individuals who will decide their dispute.
The senior judiciary in certain jurisdictions are strongly in favour of ADR.