Mediation

Mediation is an informal way of solving a problem. At mediation, the people involved in a dispute come together with the help of a neutral person called a 'mediator' to try and settle the dispute. The mediator helps people understand the problem, talk to each other and come up with solutions. A mediator will not take sides and cannot give you legal advice.

This topic can help you:

  • learn about mediation and how it can help you
  • prepare for mediation and learn what to do at mediation.

Hint iconThe people involved in mediation will often be called 'the parties'.

The information in this topic is divided into the following sections:​

    ​What ​is mediation?

    Mediation is a way of settling a dispute without having a hearing in a court or tribunal.

    This section covers:

    • What is mediation?
    • What does a mediator do?
    • Where does mediation happen?
    • When does mediation happen?

    For more information, see What is mediation?

    Why try mediation?

    You should think about the pros and cons of mediation to help you decide whether mediation is right for your situation.

    This section covers:

    • The pros and cons of mediation
    • Compulsory mediation
    • When mediation may not be appropriate.

    For more information, see Why try mediation? 

    How to arrange mediation

    There are lots of different organisations that provide mediation. Where you go for mediation will depend on the type of problem that you want to fix. This section links to many of the organisations that provide mediation and has information about:

    • Community Justice Centres
    • Mediation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • Mediation in employment matters
    • Mediation in family law matters
    • Private mediation providers
    • Court or tribunal referrals to mediation.

    For information, see How to arrange mediation.      

    Preparing for mediation

    There are some practical steps you can take before you attend mediation. This section covers the things you should do to prepare, including:

    • Learn about the mediation process
    • Think about the issues
    • Work out what you want
    • Understand your legal rights
    • Think about the options for ending the dispute
    • Understand your emotions
    • Plan how to communicate
    • Think about whether you need to take someone with you
    • Find out about interpreters (if you need one)
    • Gather documents and information.

    For more information, see Preparing for mediation.

    What happens at mediation?

    This section looks at some of the questions you might have when you are going to mediation, including:

    • What should I expect?
    • How do I talk and listen during mediation?
    • Is mediation confidential?
    • What happens if we reach agreement?
    • How do I enforce an agreement made at mediation?
    • Can I still go to court if mediation does not work out?

    For more information, see What happens at mediation?

    FAQs

    For answers to some commonly asked questions, see Frequently asked questions. ​​

    Picture parties attending mediation