When a civil dispute is brought before the court to be resolved, the opposing parties will present their positions to the court in a hearing. A judge will decide the case on the evidence before him and by determining how the law is to apply. It can be a lengthy and expensive process to prepare and present a case for hearing and to have it determined by the court.
An alternative to resolving a dispute through the court system is mediation. The Judiciary has encouraged parties to use mediation through pilot schemes in family disputes, construction disputes, and disputes relating to building management. These are all in line with the underlying objectives of the Civil Justice Reform implemented on 2 April 2009, which encourage and facilitate the settlement of disputes by a means other than litigation in court.
Mediation is a voluntary process in which a trained and impartial third person, the mediator, helps the parties in dispute to reach an amicable settlement that is responsive to their needs and acceptable to all sides.
The mediator brings the parties together face-to-face in a private and confidential setting. Each party will have the opportunity of putting forward his point of view and listening to what the other has to say. The mediator does not impose a decision on the parties; but to help the parties explore the strengths and weaknesses of their cases and to identify possible solutions, to assist them to resolve the matter between themselves.