How does mediation work?

Mediation is a voluntary process whereby the mediators facilitate the parties having a full and frank discussion around the issues relevant to the dispute. The mediators aim to ensure that the parties gain an improved understanding of the conflict and its consequences. The mediators will not provide advice or suggest ways forward – it is for the parties to come to their own decisions about the future. The ultimate goal of mediation is for the parties to make plans that will work well for the future.

What is co-mediation?

Co-mediation occurs when there are two mediators present. This assists in creating a balanced environment for the mediation session. The mediators work together to assist you to resolve your dispute. Most of the mediations that take place at the UWA Mediation Clinic will be co-mediations.

How long is mediation?

Each case is unique, so the length of mediation and the number of sessions required will vary depending on the individual circumstances. The initial, one-on-one, intake appointment runs for about 30–60 minutes. If the process progresses, then we will book a joint session for a time that suits everyone. Usually, three hours is sufficient time for the parties to make progress in mediation.

Is mediation confidential?

The general rule for mediation is yes, it is confidential to all those who participate in the mediation. However, if others (managers, partners and the like) need to be informed about the outcomes of the mediation, then how this will occur will be agreed in the mediation.

The general legal rule of mediation is that nothing the parties reveal in mediation can be used in a court of law as evidence. There are legal exceptions to confidentiality, including if the mediators believe that there is imminent danger to a person or property.

Is mediation voluntary?

Yes, mediation is voluntary. Parties can choose to mediate or not, and can choose to leave the mediation at any time once it has commenced. Likewise, so can the mediators choose to withdraw from the mediation at any time.

What about if there is a conflict of interest?

If the mediators believe that they have a conflict of interest, then they will either withdraw from the mediation or reveal the conflict to the parties – and if the parties agree, continue to mediate with the parties’ informed consent.