Mediation is a confidential and structured meeting where parties discuss ways to settle their dispute with the help of a mediator.
What to expect during mediation
There are no fixed rules about what happens in mediation. Generally the mediator will:
- Explain the mediation process and outline their role
- Ask each party to express their concerns while everyone listens
- Ask for suggested options which are likely to be acceptable to everyone
- Speak to the parties separately to help them identify the strengths and weaknesses of their case and the alternatives to having the case determined at a hearing
- Help the parties come to a final agreement
Who is the mediator?
Some mediators are Tribunals Members and others are specialist mediators. The mediator does not decide the case. Their role is to help identify your concerns, think about the options for resolving the dispute and reach an agreement that is acceptable.
How to prepare for mediation
Before your mediation session, you should:
- Make a list of all your concerns and what you think the other party’s concerns may be.
- Write down some options for resolving the case.
- Think about what will happen if the case does not settle.
Bring any relevant documents such as medical reports or investigator reports. You may be directed to provide evidence or exchange other information before the mediation.
Visit the LawAccess NSW website for information on how to prepare for mediation.
Coming to an agreement
If the parties come to an agreement at the mediation they should make a written record and sign it. The mediator will make copies for the parties.
If the parties want NCAT to make orders in the terms of their agreement, the case will be listed before a Tribunal Member to consider that application.
NCAT can only make consent orders if it has the power to do so. Otherwise it can note the agreement of the parties.
If you do not settle
If your case does not settle it will be listed before a Tribunal Member to decide what the next step will be.
If you do not participate in mediation
If the applicant does not participate, the mediator will list the case before a Tribunal Member to consider whether the application should be dismissed.
If the respondent does not come, the case will be listed before a Tribunal Member to decide what the next step will be.