What is involved in mediation
Mediation is a flexible process in which a neutral mediator facilitates the parties' settlement negotiations, to help them reach their own solution. The focus of mediation is on finding solutions that will meet the parties' concerns. The mediator will not make a decision concerning who is at fault in the dispute.
Each mediation session usually has the following steps:
Time required for mediation
Your mediation session will take about three hours. You and the other party may reach a settlement at the end of the session. In appropriate cases, you may be asked to return for another session.
Preparing for the mediation session
- Discuss your case together with your lawyer before the mediation session.
Remember that the purpose of mediation is not to determine who is at fault but to explore a settlement. The following matters may be discussed with your lawyer:
- Your main concerns that have to be addressed in order to resolve this dispute (e.g. monetary compensation, preserving the relationship with the other party, or acknowledgment of wrongdoing)
- The strengths and weaknesses of your case, and the risks involved in proceeding for a trial
- The likely cost of proceeding for trial (e.g. time, legal costs and reputation) and whether you are prepared to bear it
- The possible ways of settling the dispute through mediation, and how the other party is likely to react to these suggestions
- Keep an open mind. The purpose of mediation is for you to communicate with the other party and be open to negotiation. For this process to work, you have to be prepared to listen to the other side and work together with the mediator and the other party to arrive at an agreement that works for all the parties.
- If you are representing an organisation or company, please also ensure that you have the full authority to negotiate and decide the outcome. If you have to consult someone, please ensure that you are able to contact the person via telephone during the mediation session.
- Please bring along all relevant documents relating to the dispute. These may include letters, e-mail exchanges, invoices, contractual agreements, expert reports, and photographs.
- Please arrive early and set aside sufficient time for the session.
- You may wish to view a video that explains the court mediation process.