What is Mediation?
Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court. It involves an independent third party - a mediator - who helps both sides come to an agreement.
Mediation is a flexible process that can be used to settle disputes in a whole range of situations such as:
- consumer disputes
- contract disputes
- family disputes
- neighbourhood disputes
The role of the mediator is to help parties reach a solution to their problem and to arrive at an outcome that both parties are happy to accept. Mediators avoid taking sides, making judgements or giving guidance. They are simply responsible for developing effective communications and building consensus between the parties. The focus of a mediation meeting is to reach a common sense settlement agreeable to both parties in a case.
Mediation is a voluntary process and will only take place if both parties agree. It is a confidential process where the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing.
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.
Both parties share the cost of mediation, which will depend on the value and complexity of the claim.
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