What is Mediation?
Mediation is a structured negotiation process whereby a neutral independent party, the mediator, helps the parties in a dispute to achieve their own resolution to the dispute.
When should parties mediate?
Mediation is most successful when the parties have a genuine desire to settle and prepared to compromise.
The following are examples of circumstances where mediation may occur:
- compulsory referral to mediation by order of the court
- before commencement of litigation
- early in the stages of litigation
- when the Plaintiff has prepared evidence but the defendant has not
- after all evidence has been served and a court date has been set
One of the key benefits of mediation is confidentiality. The Civil Procedure Act 2005 provides that admissions made in mediation or evidence of anything said in mediation is not admissible in any proceedings before a court or other body (see s 30(4)). If the mediation is unsuccessful, the substance of the mediation cannot be used against a party later in the proceedings.
The parties have the choice of the Mediator that they will engage, the choice of mediator is agreed to between the parties or where no agreement can be reached, the parties can approach a mediation service provider to appoint a mediator.
Depending upon the nature of the matter, mediations can assist in the speedy resolution of disputes and result in costs savings.
If the parties reach an agreement as a result of the mediation the lawyers will draw up a settlement agreement, which is binding on the parties.
If you would like assistance with mediation or assistance in any environmental, local government or planning law matter. Contact our expert team of planning lawyers, local government lawyers and environmental lawyers in Parramatta on 1800 300 308 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to clients and readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as definitive or complete statement of the relevant law.