What is Mediation?
Mediation is an interactive process whereby parties resolve their differences and/or dispute without having to go for a trial in court. It is a flexible process where parties appoint a neutral third party, i.e. a mediator to facilitate the parties’ negotiations by helping parties to identify their issues, explore their options and negotiate a settlement that is workable to both.
Advantages of Mediation
- Assists parties to solve problems in a non-adversarial and non-confrontational process.
- Allows parties to make their own decisions on how to resolve the conflict / disputes.
- Allows parties to retain complete control over the outcome.
- Avoids the risk of a decision imposed against them by a judge. This is especially so with family matters such as divorce proceedings where parties may feel happier with terms that they have agreed on compared to orders made by the Court.
- Assists parties to find practical and acceptable solutions taking into account their concerns and goals, without deciding who is right or wrong.
- Saves time and legal costs.
- Avoids the emotional trauma of undergoing a contested hearing or trial which are likely to increase tension, stress, acrimony and costs.
- Preserves relationship.
Step 1 Initiating the Mediation process
1.1 Either party or both parties may intiate the mediation process by sending a request for mediation. 1.1.1 The mediation will be carried out if the following conditions are met: Both parties agree to attend the mediation. Both parties agree to attend the mediation.
Step 2 Briefing before the Mediation Session
2.1 Before the mediation is carried out, both parties will enter into a Mediation Agreement after a short briefing. 2.2 A time, date and place would be arranged for the mediation session. 2.3 A dedicated, suitable and experienced mediator would be appointed.
Step 3 Preparing for the Mediation Session
3.1 At least 5 days before the mediation, both parties will provide each other and the mediator: 3.1.1 A concise summary stating your case 3.1.2 Copies of all documents referred to in the Summary that your may wish to rely on at the mediation. 3.1.3 You may also provide information to the mediator which you do not want to disclsoe to the other party.
Step 4 The Mediation Session
4.1 The mediator would acquaint both parties with the mediation process and how it will be conducted. 4.1.1 It is important to know that the mediator is not a judge. He is there to facilitate both parties in resolving their differences. 4.1.2 The mediation is confidential and all communications made on a strictly “without prejudice basis” and shall not be used in any proceedings. 4.2 The mediator would list out issues to be resolved. 4.2.1 He would lead and encourage both parties to share perspectives and views on these issues. 4.2.2 This would help parties consider and come to an agreement. 4.2.3 Our mediation advocates would be able to help you convey your interests on these issues effectively to the mediator. 4.3 The Mediator may conduct joint meetings with both parties or separate meetings with each of the parties, whether before or during the mediation.
Step 5 Reaching a Settlement
5.1 When you have reached an agreement, it would be put into writing and signed by or on behalf of both parties. 5.2 The mediation process would be discontinued once the settlement agreement has been carried out.
Highlighting the Differences between Private Mediation and Court Dispute Resolution
Court Dispute Resolution at PDRC
Dedicated mediator(s) assigned to your case
Settlement Judge (who is a District Judge)A different judge may be assigned to your case if you have more than one sessions
You may choose to begin the mediation process before the commencement of any court proceedings.The mediation will be carried out if the following conditions are met:
1. Both parties agree to attend the mediation.
2. Upon evaluation, your case is suitable for mediation.
It can be held at any juncture during the process prior to trial after pleadings are filed in Court
Either party or both parties may intiate the mediation process by sending a request for mediation.Both parties have to consent to attending mediation and sign an Agreement to Mediate.You will be informed when a location, date and time is designated for your mediation.
Who can initiate the process?
- You can apply for CDR after pleadings have been filed. You may also do so through your lawyer.
- It is also possible that the court refers parties to PDRC at the summons for directions hearing (a hearing that is held when pleadings are closed)
The PDRC Administrator will fix a CDR session. Parties will be notified by letter to appear before the Settlement Judge on a given date or time.
Parties exchange concise summaries of their positions on the case in question and of important documents referred to in the summary.These summaries are also given to the mediator.
Opening statement stating your case and position has to be filed before CDR session commences.
At least a full day specially set aside to help both parties resolve differences depending on the complexity of your dispute.
Parties may have to return for more sessions if they are unable to reach settlement.
Fees depending on type of dispute