WHAT IS MEDIATION?
- It is voluntary: This simply means that disputants cannot be forced into any agreement.
- It is confidential: Parties must agree that whatever is discussed must remain in the strictest confidence.
- It is Neutral: The role of the mediator is not to bring about judgement. The mediator’s only interest is that disputants arrive at an acceptable, workable settlement leading to reconciliation.
- The process and outcome belongs to the disputants
- If, at the end, an acceptable agreement cannot be reached, the parties are free to proceed to court.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER MEDIATION?
- Gives parties an opportunity to be heard and discuss their dispute in good faith with intent to settle.
- Provides an opportunity for relationships to be restored, maintained or rebuilt.
- Helps to resolve issues before they escalate.
- Is a system in which the parties to the disputes have full say over the outcome of their dispute.
- Is a programme which is faster; as a result parties save both money and time.
HOW IS A CASE REFERRED TO MEDIATION?
A case may be referred to Mediation at any stage of the proceedings:
- A Master or Judge may make an order referring any civil action filed in the Court to Mediation.
- The parties may by consent notify the Court that they wish to have their case referred to Mediation and in such case the Master or Judge shall make a referral order. The Mediation will be conducted by a trained Mediator, approved to be on the Roster of Mediators for the Supreme Court. Parties may select a Mediator from the Roster of Mediators. If the parties cannot agree on a Mediator, one will be appointed for them by a Judge or Master.
HOW LONG AFTER THE DECISION IS MADE TO USE MEDIATION WILL A SESSION BE CONDUCTED?
Mediations will be conducted within forty five days of the Referral Order by the Judge or Master.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND THE MEDIATION?
All parties must attend the Mediation session. If a party is represented by a lawyer, the lawyer may also attend. The lawyer can help the client work out the terms of the settlement. A lawyer may not attend in place of a party.