Alternative ways to solve a dispute in Manitoba

You are reading the Original Version (CLB5+) Read Simple Version (CLB3-4)

Skip to:

Lawsuits can cost a lot of time and money. It’s a good thing that there are other ways of solving an issue or conflict. You can choose Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, especially if your case is not very serious or complicated. ADR allows you to get a resolution quickly, at less cost and stress.

Here are some that are available in Manitoba:


Mediation is a process where a person, who is not involved in the problem, helps two parties who are in disagreement. This person is called the mediator. The mediator’s job is to help the two parties talk to each other and understand each other’s points of view. The mediator leads the conversation in a way that both parties can agree on a solution. This is a voluntary process.

Mediation is commonly used when there are problems in a family, workplace conflicts, or civil matters.


Arbitration is more formal than mediation. In this method, a person called an arbitrator acts like a judge. This person listens to both sides. Then, they make a decision. This decision can be binding or non-binding. Binding means it must be followed. Non-binding means it does not have to be followed (which means that they may explore other options). This depends on the agreement between the two sides prior to the start of the process. Arbitration is often used in business arguments and complicated cases.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is a process where each side has a lawyer. These lawyers promise not to take the case to court. The people and their lawyers work as a team to find answers. They often get help from other experts. This may include financial advisors or therapists. This process is often used when people want to divorce or when there are issues in the family.


Negotiation is the simplest form of ADR. Parties involved in a dispute communicate directly or through their lawyers to reach an agreement. Negotiation can be used in various situations, from personal conflicts to business disagreements.

Restorative Justice

Restorative justice focuses on repairing harm caused by an offense. It brings together the victim, offender, and community members to discuss the impact of the crime and find ways to make amends. This approach is used in criminal cases and community conflicts.

Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Aside from saving time and money, ADR has other benefits:

  • It maintains relationships,
  • ADR allows people to have more control over the result,
  • Resolution quicker and less formal than court proceedings.

Learn more about your Alternative Dispute Resolution options

Family Law Manitoba – This website is great source of information and support for issues related to Family Law. This includes issues such as parenting arrangements, spousal and child support, property division, and others.
ADR Institute of Manitoba – ADRRIM is a non-profit organization that offers ADR Connect, Canada’s largest database of ADR professionals which the public can use to find mediators and arbitrators.
Mediation Services – This is a private organization established as a project of the Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba. It offers services to help resolve conflict in the family, workplace, or community. They also offer free and paid online webinars on various aspects of conflict resolution.

Choosing the right method depends on the type of the problem and the willingness of the people involved to work together. By looking at these alternatives, individuals and businesses in Manitoba can find efficient and effective ways to fix conflicts, promoting peace and understanding within the community.
Sources: Resolving disputes – think about your options, Government of Canada; and Alternate Dispute Resolution, Family Law Manitoba; Accessed October 4, 2023.

Back to top

We'd love to hear from you!

Please login to tell us what you think.

Related Learning Activities

The importance of having a will

Article thumbnail fallback

Having a proper well could save you and your family from financial disaster. Join this workshop to discover the importance… Read more »

Seeking legal representation in Manitoba

Smiling lawyer leaning on shelf in law library

Have you ever needed a lawyer or had a legal question you couldn’t get answered in a timely manner? Attend… Read more »

Law and Justice Workshops

Gavel, used in a court of law.

Want to learn more about the legal system in Canada? This series of workshops will discuss a variety of topics… Read more »

Back to top

CC BY-NC-SAText of this page is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA, unless otherwise marked. Please attribute to English Online Inc. and link back to this page where possible. For images and videos, check the source for licensing information.