Mediation is a way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court or tribunal. It involves an independent third party – a mediator – who helps both sides come to an agreement.
Mediation is a flexible process that can be used to reach agreement in a whole range of situations such as:
- workplace disputes
- consumer disputes
- contract disputes
- neighbourhood disputes
The role of the mediator is to help parties reach a solution to their problem and to arrive at an outcome that both parties are happy to accept. Mediators avoid taking sides, making judgements or giving guidance. They are simply responsible for developing effective communications and building consensus between the parties. The focus of a mediation meeting is to reach a common sense settlement agreeable to both parties in a case, and an agreement that is legally binding.
Mediation is a voluntary process and will only take place if both parties agree. Both parties will be required to sign an agreement to go to mediation. It is a confidential process where the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing. Typically, the mediation meeting will last half-day or a whole day, dependent on the complexity of the issue.
If parties are unable to reach agreement, they can still go to court or tribunal. Details about what went on at the mediation will not be disclosed or used at a court hearing.
Both parties share the cost of mediation, which will depend on the value and complexity of the dispute, together with travel and other costs incurred by the mediator. Contact Ros if you would like more information.