What is Mediation?
Mediation is a way of resolving disputes without the need to go through a trial in court. It involves an independent third party, a mediator, who helps both sides come to an agreement. It can be a cost effective way of resolving conflicts compared to fighting the matter out in court.
Mediation can be used to settle disputes in a whole range of situations such as business disputes, contract disputes, family disputes as well as disputes between a shop and a consumer or disputes between neighbours.
Mediation is a flexible process in which the neutral mediator helps the parties to negotiate and find solutions that the parties can accept. The mediator will not take sides or make a decision concerning who is at fault in the dispute.
Mediation is a voluntary process and can only take place if both parties to the dispute agree.
It is a confidential process so the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing.
The parties share the costs of the mediation.
Are Mediation settlements binding?
Yes. A signed settlement agreement is as enforceable as any other contractual agreement.
Will I lose my chance to sue in court if I participate in Mediation?
No. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process. If your mediation session does not result in a settlement and you have the right to pursue legal remedies through the courts.
What happens if the parties don’t reach an agreement?
If parties are unable to reach agreement, they can still go to court. Details about what went on at the mediation will not be disclosed or used at a court hearing.
Further information –
State Court’s An Overview of Mediation
Community Mediation Centre
This is a general overview – for more specific matters always seek the advice of a qualified lawyer.