Learning & events

PDG event | Ethics in mediation

with Peter Young AM, QC, Michael Heaton QC, Mark Hebblewhite, David Bryson and Associate Professor Genevieve Grant

Thursday 13 June 2019 | Melbourne

Ethics in Mediation “Right” or “Wrong”? How can something so simple be so complicated?

An expert panel, with significant depth of knowledge and experience in dispute resolution, will assist practitioners to understand "ethics" in the mediation process.

A professional code of ethics is essential to upholding ethical integrity and accountability. Accredited mediators must adhere to the ethical code prescribed by the professional organisation of which they are a member or an employee.

There will necessarily be differences in the degree to which some mediators can take an active and creative approach while others are compelled to operate under disciplinary rules. Depending on where and how the mediation is done, there will be differences in the decision-making powers and discretionary powers of the mediator.

A mediator’s ethical ability is tested by corresponding needs; the need to manage both the context the mediator is working in as well as the interest-based principles of mediation; the need to be aware of the ethical obligations of other parties in the room and the need to foresee and manage potential ethical breaches.

Panelists will share insights and provide examples of key ethical challenges in a variety of fields and contexts that include family, commercial, legal / statutory and on-line dispute resolution. The session aims to help equip mediators to develop their preparation skills and confidence.

Panel members: Peter Young AM QC, Mark Hebblewhite, David Bryson and Dr Genevieve Grant PhD.

The session will be moderated by Michael Heaton QC.


About the presenters

Peter Young AM,QC

Peter was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1997 and conducted a substantial practice until his appointment as a Family Court Judge in 2002 until his resignation mid-2013. He now practices as a Queen’s Counsel conducting family law mediations. Peter is a Deputy Chancellor of Monash University, and is Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee, and a member of the Selection and Remuneration and the Honorary Degree Committees of Monash University. A former Chairman of the Melbourne Racing Club, Peter is currently a government appointee to the Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Integrity Council and was a member of the Epworth Hospital Ethics and Medical Research Committee (2013-2018).

Michael DG Heaton, QC

Michael has been in legal practice for over 40 years and mediating for 30 years. His practice as a Barrister is predominantly in contract, commercial, corporations, insolvency, building and construction, banking and finance, property, trade practices and public law. He is a nationally accredited (NMAS) and Victorian Bar Advanced Accredited Mediator; he chaired the ADR committee of the Victorian Bar for eight years. He serves on a number of panels and boards and chaired the Human Research Ethics Committee for the Christian Research Association.

Mark Hebblewhite

Mark is a Barrister who has completed more than 3,000 mediations. He combines legal practice in family and commercial law with extensive mediation work as a registered FDRP, a VLA-FDRS Chairperson, a Federal and State Court-Appointed Mediator. He is also engaged to assist in family farm and succession disputes and in mediations between parties with an interest in maintaining on-going family or commercial relationships. He has served on numerous mediation panels (franchise; oil industry; small business; intellectual property; real property and retail tenancy VCAT). Mark has actively participated in the development of mediation practice in Australia since 1987. This has been acknowledged by his appointment as Chair of the Mediator Standards Board (MSB); the peak body, overseeing the national accreditation of mediators (NMAS).

David Bryson

David is a Senior Consultant with Resolve Advisors (Aust) where he provides training and capacity building for Aboriginal Traditional Owners in the Right People for Country Project. He has taught negotiation in the Masters of Law program, Université Catholique de Lyon, France, and Facilitation in the Law School, UTS. From 1996-2000 David was a member of the Federal Attorney-General’s National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (NADRAC), where he convened the Council’s Committee that produced a seminal report on ADR standards in Australia. His appointments include Assistant Commissioner with the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission and Specialist Mediation Panel, and member of the Specialist Mediation Panel for the Australian Small Business Family Enterprise Ombudsman. David has participated in committees, working parties and conferences that have led to significant ADR initiatives in Australia. He has written widely on conciliation practice and theory.

Associate Professor Genevieve Grant

Associate Professor Genevieve Grant is Director of the Australian Centre for Justice Innovation in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. Genevieve has a PhD in Public Health and Law together with experience working as an injury litigation lawyer and in legal policy development in government.

She is particularly interested in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) and teaches Australia’s first unit dedicated to ODR. Genevieve’s research uses empirical methods to evaluate justice system performance, including the design and operation of dispute resolution, civil justice and injury compensation systems. This work cuts across the fields of dispute resolution, legal technology, injury compensation, health law and legal ethics. Her current research partners include the Transport Accident Commission, State Insurance Regulatory Authority (NSW) and Better Place Australia.


Thanks to Pitcher Partners for generously supporting this event.