The process of adjusting or settling disputes in a friendly manner through extra judicial means. Conciliation means bringing two opposing sides together to reach a compromise in an attempt to avoid taking a case to trial. ARBITRATION, in contrast, is a contractual remedy used to settle disputes out of court. In arbitration the two parties in controversy agree in advance to abide by the decision made by a third party called in as a mediator, whereas conciliation is less structured.
Conciliation is used in labor disputes before arbitration and may also take place in several areas of the law. A court of conciliation is one that suggests the manner in which two opposing parties may avoid trial by proposing mutually acceptable terms. In the past, some states have had bureaus of conciliation for use in DIVORCE proceedings.
The federal government has established the FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE, an independent department devoted to settling labor disputes by conciliation and mediation, or settlement of disputes through the intervention of a neutral party.