Supreme Court of Western Australia

Mediation

We strongly encourage you to seek ways to resolve your action that avoids the cost and stress of a trial. The Court offers a mediation program that is secure and confidential and is designed to help you resolve your action quickly and cost-effectively.

You might be surprised to learn that most civil cases in the Supreme Court are resolved before going to trial. One way that's achieved is through the Court’s mediation program. It is designed to assist you to resolve your legal dispute simply, quickly and cost-effectively.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a forum where a neutral, independent person (a mediator) supports the parties in discussing and resolving the issues in their legal dispute. Rather than having a trial before a judge who will decide how the dispute is resolved, in a mediation it is the parties who can reach a solution.

Mediation can be a faster and less expensive option than going to trial. With very few exceptions, what is said at mediation is confidential and no court records are kept of the conversation unless agreed by the parties. This allows the parties to honestly and frankly discuss the dispute, what each wants to achieve and the options for settlement.

If an agreement is reached at or after mediation, it can take effect immediately. If the parties wish, the agreement can also be embodied in an order of the court, which can be enforced by the court. Even if the dispute is not resolved, mediation can assist parties to clearly define the issues which need to be resolved at trial, reducing the time and expense of trial.

Which cases go to mediation?

The Court strongly encourages all actions go to mediation at some stage. Your case manager will listen to your point of view when deciding when to order mediation and you can discuss the timing of mediation with your lawyer.

Who is the mediator?

A Court registrar or a judge will act as the mediator. All of the registrar and judge mediators are trained mediators and have many years of experience.

Your mediator will be neutral and independent - once a registrar or judge has acted as a mediator for a case, they will not act as the case manager or trial judge for the same case. The parties can agree to use and appoint their own private mediator, at the cost of the parties.

What does mediation cost?

The plaintiff in the proceedings will typically pay a fixed fee when lodging a request for mediation. You can confirm what fee is payable by speaking to your lawyer or by checking the schedule of fees.

There is no cost for using the Court’s mediation rooms, or for the registrar or judge’s time at mediation. If the parties appoint a private mediator, they will pay for that person’s time and expenses.

What happens in the mediation room?

The mediator will speak directly to you and to the lawyers present, and you can speak openly. Each party will have an opportunity to explain their view of the dispute. Parties are encouraged to understand each other’s perspective. Options for settlement are developed and explored.

Where will the mediation be held?

Most mediations are held on Levels 7 and 8 of the David Malcolm Justice Centre, at 28 Barrack Street in Perth. The Court has eight mediation rooms and a number of interview rooms where parties can meet and discuss matters privately, before and during mediation. The Court will also conduct mediations in towns and cities across Western Australia in appropriate cases.

Mediation is about speaking face-to-face but sometimes a party may be allowed to attend mediation by telephone or video link. Such a request must be made to the court as soon as possible.

How should I prepare for mediation?

  • Be prepared to listen.
  • Think about what you want to achieve, and what you need to achieve, from the resolution of the dispute.
  • Speak when you are ready to respond, rather than as a reaction.
  • Be familiar with the aspects of your matter which are in dispute.
  • Think carefully about which aspects of the case you may be able to agree upon.
  • Talk to your lawyer about costs going forward.
  • Think about and develop options that may lead to a resolution.
  • Ensure you are not rushed - set aside a full day and make a genuine effort to reach agreement.
  • Be prepared to make a decision. Many successful mediations result in a final and binding deal being done on the day of mediation.
  • If you have any security or safety concerns, you should raise them (directly or through your lawyer) with the Associate to the Mediator at least 2 days before mediation. The court is usually able to make arrangements to address the security or safety concerns of the parties.

Free Mediation Information Sessions

The Supreme Court of Western Australia provides regular free mediation information sessions for the public. Please register your interest by emailing Associate to Principal Registrar with your name, contact number and matter number, and you will be advised when the next session is scheduled.


Last updated: 10-Jun-2019

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