If a dispute cannot be resolved through discussions between you, the other party and DSCV, we also offer a free mediation service. Our Dispute Assessment Officers (DAOs) will explain this process to each party.
Mediation involves a meeting conducted by a trained and accredited mediator who is impartial. Mediations are confidential and participation is voluntary for all participants.
Mediations can usually be arranged within a fortnight, depending on availability of all parties. It will be at a location that is most convenient to all parties.
Assessing suitability for mediation
When considering whether a dispute is suitable for mediation, our DAOs take into account the following:
- whether both parties genuinely want to resolve the dispute
- whether the parties are able to understand and participate in the mediation process
- the level of vulnerability of either party, e.g. mental health issues
- whether either party has expressed fear of the other party, or has been harmed or threatened with violence by the other party
- any previous failed attempts at mediation
- whether the issue is substantial enough to mediate
If our DAOs believe that the DSCV services are not able to help you with your dispute they will refer you to a service that will be able to assist you. Many of these services can be found in the Useful Links page.
What happens in mediation
A mediation usually takes about two to three hours, although some disputes may take longer.
In the mediation session, the mediators will help you and the other party:
- identify and explore the issues in dispute
- develop options
- consider alternatives
- work together to reach an agreement
- write down details of any agreement reached
Our aim is to help you resolve any type of dispute by reaching a long-lasting agreement that is fair to everyone involved.
During the mediation all parties have the chance to meet privately with the mediators to discuss any issues and to consider possible options for resolution.
Mediation is a fair and respectful process that is focused on achieving solutions everyone can live with.
DSCV statistics show that 85% of disputes are resolved at mediation and 86% of DSCV clients tell us they are very satisfied with our services.
The DSCV mediation process has many advantages, including that it is:
- free – provided at no cost by the Department of Justice and Regulation;
- empowering – with the ability to make your own decisions that reflect your personal circumstance;
- practical – future-focused, designed to be applied to your daily life;
- accessible – with a CBD location and 12 regional offices;
- informal – no application forms or expert knowledge needed;
- positive – building on existing relationships through a collaborative approach;
- flexible – we can work out times and places to suit all parties; and
- confidential – nothing said during a mediation can be used in court.