Resolving a Dispute

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Mediation

What is mediation?

Mediation is an informal process for helping people who have a dispute to sort it out for themselves without going to court.

A mediator is a neutral third person who encourages those in the dispute to talk to each other about the issues. The mediator is not an advice-giver or decision-maker. The parties examine the real problems, large or small. They then create and agree upon an outcome that meets their needs and addresses their concerns

View our mediation rules >>

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The benefits of mediation

Mediation often improves understanding between the parties in an ongoing relationship.

Compared with going to court, mediation is

  • less expensive
  • quicker
  • more informal and
  • less stressful.

Mediation is voluntary. The parties and the mediator have the right to withdraw at any time, although this is rare.

Types of disputes suitable for mediation

Mediation is suitable for resolving a wide range of disputes including business and commercial, partnership, family, workplace personal injury, industrial and construction.

What happens in mediation?

Mediation is a flexible process that can be adapted to suit the parties and the circumstances. The model (below) gives you an idea of the process.

Assurance of quality

Resolution Institute accredits mediators to the National Mediator Accreditation System and also to its own standard including to an advanced level. To be confident of the quality of your mediator, select an accredited mediator.

Making the most of mediation

Who decides on mediation?

Participants themselves can choose to go to mediation. Alternatively, their lawyers may advise them to do so. Courts may refer matters to mediation.

Who attends mediation?

In consultation with the mediator, each participant can arrange to bring one or more people to support or assist them at the mediation. This may be a professional adviser such as a lawyer or accountant, or a friend or non-professional person.

Who makes decisions at mediation?

The participants attending the mediation have the authority to make decisions on any proposed settlement, unless other arrangements have been made.

The final settlement may be legally binding, depending on the conditions of referral, or the wishes of the parties.

What about confidentiality?

Mediation is as confidential as the participants wish it to be and as far as the law allows. This will be discussed between the mediator and the participants at the start of the mediation.