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If you can't sort out a disagreement or conflict among the people involved, mediation is a useful way to try to resolve disputes, without resorting to legal action.
Mediation allows for parties to be heard by a mediator who can conciliate the dispute. A mediator can't make a binding determination, but parties can agree to resolve a dispute after mediation.
Arbitration is a less common form of dispute resolution, often used where required by a contract (for example in a joint venture agreement between two large not-for-profit health service providers). In some circumstances arbitrators can make binding decisions.
The Not-for-profit Law fact sheet on mediation covering all states and territories, provides information about the process and why it may assist your organisation to resolve disputes and conflict, and avoid escalation to Court. It includes information regarding:
- mediation and its benefits
- the kinds of disputes that can be mediated and how to find and choose a mediator
- how to prepare for mediation and what happens during mediation, and
- what to do if mediation doesn’t work
Remember that disputes can be serious situations, and your organisation may need to get advice from a lawyer before making a decision about the best course of action. The information on this page is information only, and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.
A free dispute resolution service funded by the Victorian Government.
The LIV is the professional membership association for Victorian lawyers and provides details of approved legal practitioners qualified to conduct mediations. Mediators are listed together with their contact details and areas of practice or specialisation.
Resolution Institute is promotes and facilitates the use of mediation and other dispute resolution processes.
A free dispute resolution service funded by the NSWGovernment.
- Voluntas - a pilot service aimed to resolve dispute within volunteer involving organisations. The Centre for Volunteering is the first contact point for the pilot service. Volunteers and organisations are asked to contact the Centre if they are aware of, or are directly involved in, a dispute that could benefit from the assistance of an independent mediator.
The Law Society of NSW is the professional membership association for NSW solicitors and offers a mediation program to assist people wishing to resolve a dispute by participating in mediation. The Law Society appoints an independent and experienced solicitor to mediate disputes. The Law Society’s website also lists some other organisations that offer mediation services.
Other relevant links
This website explains the role of the Magistrates’ Court, as well as mediation and the Magistrates’ Court.
Victoria Law Foundation is a not-for-profit, independent statutory body that helps Victorians understand the legal system and the law. The Foundation publishes a variety of free publications to help you resolve common disputes.Call: (03) 9604 8100.
This website explains ADR processes used in District Court proceedings.
The Bar Association of NSW is the professional membership association for NSW barristers and offers members of the public access to barristers trained in mediation and other ADR processes who can be engaged to act as a mediator.