A confidential process where parties try to resolve a dispute with the help of a trained, impartial person. Mediation provides an alternative to a Court imposed decision at hearing or arbitration.
Except at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, defended civil matters less than $40,000 are referred to the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) for mediation. The service is quick and cost free. See the DSCV website for more information.
Mediation at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court
When a notice of defence is filed, the dispute may be referred to mediation. Parties are notified in writing that mediation is proposed, and, if there are no issues raised, a mediation order will be made. Within 14 days after the mediation order, the parties must nominate a mediator and inform the court. The parties should agree:
- on the mediator
- when mediation will take place
- on sharing payment of any mediation fees – if applicable.
The mediator must be an acceptable mediator, e.g. a registrar of the court, a nationally accredited mediator, or a mediator from the DSCV. Fees may apply.
The Magistrates’ Court has published a list of approved, nationally accredited mediators. The list is called the Single List of External Mediators - SLEM.
Some biographies and contact details of SLEM mediators from the Law Institute of Victoria can be found from the link below:
Where the parties cannot agree on a mediator, the Magistrates’ Court will select a mediator from the SLEM and appoint the day of mediation. Fees will apply.