Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to processes, other than judicial determination, in which an impartial person (an ADR practitioner) assists those in a dispute to resolve the issues between them. ADR is commonly used as an abbreviation for alternative dispute resolution, but can also be used to mean assisted or appropriate dispute resolution.

Some also use the term ADR to include approaches that enable parties to prevent or manage their own disputes without outside assistance. However, this part describes only those processes in which an ADR practitioner directly assists parties in a dispute.