The function of a mediator is to assist the parties –
- to reach a mutually agreed resolution of their differences; or
- if that is not possible, to resolve as many differences as possible.
Parties to proceedings in the Supreme Court may opt for mediation or the Court may refer a civil matter before the court to mediation if the Court deems this appropriate. Parties who decide between themselves to attempt to mediate should complete the Mediation Consent Form.
A mediation is to be conducted in any manner the mediator determines. The Court will provide guidance to each party about preliminary matters prior to the mediation. Each party is to attend the mediation with authority to settle.
Before the mediation the mediator will review the Court file and any documents provided by the parties. The mediation will take place in meeting rooms at the Court.
Each mediation will operate slightly differently, as the mediator determines. The mediator can choose to meet with all parties individually at any time and/or conduct a joint meeting with all parties.
The mediator will attempt to identify all issues between the parties before assisting the parties to resolve these issues by identifying and discussing options.
The mediation fee currently prescribed in the Supreme Court (Fees) Rules 2017 is payable on the appointment of the mediation if the mediator is an employee of, or otherwise engaged by, the Supreme Court. The current fee is listed on the Court’s fees webpage.
The cost of Supreme Court appointed mediations is payable in equal proportions by the parties, or in such proportions as the parties agree or the Court directs.
Upon the appointment of a mediation date by the Registrar or District Registrar, an invoice will be forwarded to all parties to the proceeding for an amount reflecting their respective shares of the cost.
If the mediation charge has not been paid 7 days prior to the appointed mediation the Court may exercise the option to cancel the mediation.
Any cancellation of a mediation by the parties closer than 7 days prior to the scheduled mediation will attract a cancellation charge, being the forfeit of the mediation fee payable.
The cancellation charge will not be imposed if cancellation results from a reason that was not reasonably foreseeable at the time of booking. To seek a waiver of the cancellation charge a request is to be made in writing to the Registrar for consideration.