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.