Video 3 - What to Expect at Mediation Transcript

Narrator: Mediation is a confidential and cooperative problem-solving process that aims to help parties find solutions to their dispute with the assistance of a trained mediator.

[image] This is an order stating that a matter has been listed for remediation. It tells you what date, time and place that the mediation will start, and how long has been allocated.

While three hours may have been allocated, it may take less time if an agreement is reached, or if the parties decide they cannot reach an agreement. If more time is needed, the tribunal member, who will be the mediator, can list the matter for another mediation.

The order listing the matter for mediation will set out where and how the mediation will be conducted. Some mediations are held at the tribunal building, and some occur outside of the tribunal when a site view is required.

Some mediations may be conducted by telephone or via video conference. If your mediation is being held at the tribunal you'll need to check the listing board to find out where it's being held. The board is on the ground floor near the lifts.

Look for the names of the parties of the matter that you're involved in. Next to the name will be a room number. For example, one of the matters shown on the board is Smith versus the Department of Transport which is held in room 1.06.

The first number is the floor you'll need to go to. On each floor every room will have its own number. This is level one of the tribunal's building, most of the mediations are held on either level one or two.

At the time your mediation starts, you can either enter the mediation room and sit at the table with your legal representative, if you have one, or you can wait outside for the member to arrive.

The tribunal member, or members, conducting the mediation will arrive when it's listed to start.

It is usually okay to bring a support person with you, however they must agree to keep everything said and done, confidential or they won't be allowed to remain. Whether a person not part of the proceedings is allowed to remain in a mediation is up to the member.

The first thing the member does is check that everyone understands what mediation is, what will be happening and what the member expects during the mediation.

The purpose of mediation is to see if the parties are able to reach an agreement that will resolve the matter.

The role of the mediator is not to judge the matter, but to act impartially to help the parties see if an agreement can be reached. Mediations aren't recorded, they are private and confidential.

Parties cannot refer to anything said or done 'in the mediation', outside of the mediation session. This allows the parties to be open with other in an effort to reach agreement. The confidentiality of a mediation is also protected by the mediator - who keeps their mediation notes separate, not in the tribunal's file.

Also, the mediator may not be involved in the proceeding after a mediation has been completed, unless the parties agree to that happening. This means the mediation will not be involved in determining the matter if it is not resolved at mediation.

Usually, mediation starts with the parties telling each other any information that they would like the other party to hear and outlining what they would like to achieve at mediation.

Often it might then break into private sessions, where the mediator meets with each of the parties separately, in private. Anything said in a private session will not be repeated by the mediator to anyone not in the private session, except with the party's permission.

Sometimes the parties and the mediator come back together into a general session, and sometimes they remain in separate sessions.

During mediation, everyone must be respectful and polite. If the mediator considers that any party is behaving inappropriately, and doesn't stop, the mediator will terminate the mediation immediately.

If an agreement is reached at mediation, it is binding. If it's reached the parties should set out their agreement in writing and sign it, so that there can't be any disagreement later.

If it's not possible to write out the agreement at mediation, write down the main points of agreement and sign that. The parties can use this to ensure that the final agreement reflects what was reached at mediation.

The final agreement is not confidential, unless the parties agree that it is. In some cases the tribunal can make orders by consent that resolve the matter. The tribunal can only make orders if the member is satisfied that they have the power to make orders that the parties would like.

Tribunal orders can be enforced in the Supreme Court.

Where the proceeding in the tribunal is seeking a review of a decision, this may mean that any agreement reached at mediation is subject to the original decision maker reconsidering the matter and making a new decision.

If the applicant is happy with the new outcome they would usually withdraw their application in the tribunal.