Mediation may be provided by the courts or other organisations besides the courts.
You should consider the following factors before the mediation session:
Before attending mediation, you should:
If you are representing an organisation or company, ensure that you have the full authority to negotiate and decide the outcome. If you have to consult someone during the mediation session, ensure that you are able to contact the person via phone.
You should attend the first mediation session regardless of whether you have a lawyer representing you.
On the day of your mediation session, you should:
The letter notifying you of the date of mediation will indicate who the mediator will be. Your dispute will be mediated by one of the following parties:
All mediators in the State Courts are governed by the State Courts' Code of Ethics and Basic Principles on Court Mediation (PDF, 656 KB). This code sets out the key principles of mediation in the State Courts and elaborates on the court mediators' shared values.
All information during the mediation session will be kept confidential and will not be revealed in court in the event that no agreement is reached after mediation.
You can expect the following stages at your CDRC mediation session:
The lawyers will brief the mediator on the facts of the dispute and issues to be discussed.
You and the other party need not be present in the mediation chamber during this time.
(If at least one party is not represented, the mediator may not call for this preliminary meeting.)
The mediator will introduce you and the other party to the mediation process and facilitate a discussion on the issues in dispute.
Each party will have a chance to speak about the dispute.
If necessary, the mediator may hold separate meetings with either you or the other party. You can discuss further matters with the mediator and explore possible solutions during these meetings.
What you have shared with the mediator will not be disclosed to the other party unless you allow the mediator to do so.
You may have several of such meetings, depending on the circumstances of each dispute.
Once an agreement is reached, all parties will meet the mediator together with their lawyers to review and confirm the settlement terms.
These terms will be recorded into a settlement agreement by a judge. You and the other party must comply with the terms stated in the settlement agreement.
The settlement agreement may be drafted to allow one party to enforce it as a court order (that is, without any need for another hearing before a judge) if the other party fails to comply with the terms of settlement.
When a dispute cannot be settled through mediation, the judge may recommend other dispute resolution options or direct parties to take steps to proceed to a trial.
The judge who may have mediated your case will not be the judge conducting the trial. The information discussed during the mediation process will remain confidential and will not be revealed to the trial judge.
For Magistrate's Complaints and cases that are filed in the Protection from Harassment Court or the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals, refer to the brochure on:
Bear in mind that a mediation session, unlike a trial, is meant to move the parties towards a future settlement instead of allocating blame for past conduct. Lawyers should therefore refrain from taking an adversarial approach during mediation.
Prior to the mediation session, it is helpful to discuss the case together with your client. You should assist your client to brainstorm and assess their options, ascertain their goals for mediation, as well as determine the range of options they are willing to accept. Refer to the list of factors they may consider.
Ensure that both you and your client (if the client's attendance is required) set aside sufficient time for the mediation session.
If the client is representing an organisation or company, ensure that they have been given the authority to settle the case. If your client has to consult someone, ensure that they are able to contact the person via phone during the session.
At the start of the mediation, the mediator would typically have a preliminary meeting with the lawyers. You should be prepared to address the following matters: