What is Mediation?
Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court. It involves using an independent third party - a mediator - who helps both sides to come to an agreement
Mediation is a flexible process that can be used to settle disputes in a whole range of situations such as:
- consumer disputes
- contract disputes
- housing disputes
- neighbourhood disputes
The role of the mediator is to help parties reach a solution to their problem and to arrive at an outcome that both parties are happy to accept.
The mediator remains neutral throughout the process. The focus of a mediation meeting is to reach a common sense settlement agreeable to both parties in a case.
Mediation is a voluntary process and will only take place if both parties agree. It is a confidential process where the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing.
If parties are unable to reach agreement, they can still go to court. Mediation details will not be disclosed or used at a court hearing.
Both parties share the cost of mediation, which will depend on the value and complexity of the claim.
Benefits of mediation
Mediation can be quicker, less stressful and cheaper than going to court.
The outcome of mediation can often include an apology, an explanation, or something that a court could not order. Once a settlement has been reached a mediation agreement can be drawn up.
When can mediation be used?
You can consider using mediation at any stage - even before entering the court process. At this stage mediations can be arranged using the National Mediation Helpline.
If you are involved in a dispute that has already been allocated to the small claims track you will be able to use the HMCS Small Claims Mediation Service.
Making a claim? Some questions to ask yourself (Leaflet EX301)
The small claims track (Leaflet EX307)