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Archived Content: Australia | AU - Australia

The Promise and Reality of Online Dispute Resolution in Australia (5/10/13)
Chinthaka Liyanage, Tania Sourdin
It is clear that Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has grown significantly in response to local and international factors within Australia over the past decade. This growth is partly attributable to a healthy Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) environment within Australia. The use of ADR in Australia is widespread and all Courts and Tribunals now have the power to mandatorily refer disputes to ADR processes.

Anna Spain
Beyond Adjudication: Resolving International Resource Disputes in an Era of Climate Change (9/26/11)
Anna Spain
Climate change is one of the greatest emerging threats to global peace and security. Among other impacts, climate change will exacerbate the scarcity of water, food, and other natural resources essential to human survival. One concern is that as these resources become scarcer, the frequency and severity of international disputes will increase. Thus, developing effective means for resolving international resource disputes is of critical global importance.

Michelle Brenner
Holistic Law Approach To Indigenous Incarceration (10/18/10)
Michelle Brenner
This paper highlights the journey of peace building in the context of prison rehabilitation. The intention of this paper is to attempt to align the cultural, spiritual, psychological and physical aspects of indigenous conflict resolution with a practical peace building application in one of the growing industries in the world, the prison system.

Andrew Schepard
Andrew Schepard: Aborigine Model Processes for Handling Child Neglect/Abuse - Video (3/16/10)
Andrew Schepard
Andrew Schepard describes how Aboriginal tribes have an optimal process of dealing with child neglect and/or abuse. If abuse is reported, a family group conference may be called; they have the choice of opting out of the coercive court system, which he sees as a model approach.

Australia Legislates More Mediation Muscle in Native Title Disputes (11/10/09)

In an effort to reduce the backlog of 500 native title claims, the Australian parliament has amended the Native Title Act to strengthen mediation and give the Federal Court power over the mediation process and the ability to deal with recalcitrant parties. One senator raised concerns about mediators being given coercive powers by the amendment, especially since the legislation does not define who can be a mediator or require any particular qualifications or accountability, while other senators felt the amendments did not go far enough. (September 14, 2009)

Australian Court Awards Mediation Expenses as Costs of Proceedings (7/07/09)

The New South Wales Court of Appeals in Newcastle City Council v. Wieland, NSWCA 113 (NSW, Australia 2009), concluded that court-ordered mediation expenses generally should be treated as legitimate costs of the proceedings, since the mediation is a required step. If the parties wish to ensure that each pays its own mediation costs, they must make that clear by agreement.

Mondaq (May 27, 2009) (Subscription Required)

Australian Courts Turning to Mediation (6/15/09)

A report on mediation in the Supreme and County courts in Australia shows that use of mediation is steadily increasing. All civil cases before the Supreme Court are now being sent to mediation, where judge-led mediations are being used. A pilot mediation program in Magistrates Court has been extended and expanded from all cases under A$10,000 to all those under A$40,000. The author of the report noted that 80% of mediation participants are satisfied with the process, but that some cases need to be referred to mediation earlier.

The Age (April 2, 2009)

Cricket Council Considering Use of Mediation Between Players (9/09/08)

Australia is pressing the International Cricket Council to include a mediation process in cases of racial conflict among players, following the Australian Football League which introduced a mediation code and won a U.N. award. Under Cricket Australia’s proposal, mediation would be given a chance to bring reconciliation between bickering players, and the matter would only proceed to a formal tribunal if mediation was not successful.

Yahoo India News (July 10, 2008)

Litigation Funding of Smaller Parties Provides Mediation Counterweight (6/18/08)

A litigation funding company in Australia provides resources in carefully selected cases to individuals and small businesses involved in disputes with larger entities who may try to use their advantage in resources to obtain procedural wins or force unfair settlements. The funding company sees itself as helping to level power imbalances, but selects only cases it feels are likely to generate a good return. The managing director believes mediation is the best option for resolving business disputes, but that mediation works better when the smaller party has options.

Sydney Morning Herald (June 7, 2008)

Victoria, Australia Expanding Court-Connected Mediation (6/06/08)

Australian Supreme and County Courts will be able to send cases to mediation for the first time in a pilot project being started in Victoria, which will include large commercial disputes. Based on a Canadian model, senior judges will be involved to give the mediation process their imprimatur. The project is allocated A$3.7 million in the current budget package for the judicial system. In addition, the budget includes a A$5.8 million expansion of the mediation program in Magistrate Court and A$6.2 million to expand alternative dispute resolution regionally in Victoria.

The Age (May 4, 2008)

Geoff Sharp
Bond Newsletter (4/07/08)
Geoff Sharp
Bond University's eagerly awaited Dispute Resolution Centre's April Newsletter is just out!Edited by John Wade, the letter always delivers sophisticated content for the experienced mediator.There's a good article on Overconfidence at mediation and in a follow up to my popular post The Secrets of Successful (and Unsuccessful) Mediators - a completed Questionnaire for Advanced Mediators that John gives to experienced mediators in his regular Advanced Mediation Courses about what they see and do...

Mediation Central to Civil Justice Reforms in Victoria, Australia (4/07/08)

Australia’s longest-serving attorney general is urging that mediation “take center stage” in the reforms of Victoria’s legal system which are under way. The Victorian Law Reform Commission proposed introducing pre-action protocols, which may include mandatory mediation, in recommendations presented to the attorney general.

The Australian (March 7, 2008)

Australian Agency Uses Mediation to Assist Small Businesses (12/20/07)

The Victorian Small Business Commission uses its broad investigative powers and mediation to end unfair market practices and bullying of small businesses by larger companies. The Australian agency has increasingly focused on franchising relationships, along with retail tenancy disputes and other contract issues. The Commission encourages mediation as a way to resolve conflicts without necessarily ruining relationships. The Commission has dealt with 4,000 complaints since the office opened in 2003 and resolved about 80% before or at mediation. The Commission also encourages companies to avoid conflict by utilizing specified practices to sustain good working relationships.

My Small Business (December 17, 2007)

Peter Adler
The Ok Tedi Negotiations: Rebalancing the Equation in a Chronic Sustainability Dilemma (8/29/07)
Peter Adler
Between November 2005 and June 2007, a team from The Keystone Center helped organize and implement a multiparty negotiation process aimed at increased redress for people affected by river contamination from the Ok Tedi Mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Ok Tedi is often cited as one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in the world. It is also a true sustainability dilemma. The mine produces 20% of PNG’s gross domestic product, but it has also disrupted the traditional food webs and lives of more than 50,000 people by putting 90,000 tons of rock waste and tailings per day into the Fly River system. After 18 months of effort, a major benchmark was accomplished. Delegates of the nine affected regions along the river, the mining company, the government, and others concluded a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will ultimately give the people in the impacted area about 1.1 billion kina (roughly US$350 million) in funds, projects, and services.

Geoff Sharp
Persuasion in Negotiation and Mediation Article by John Wade (8/20/07)
Geoff Sharp
Prof. John Wade's latest article on Persuasion in Negotiation and Mediation is fresh out today.Typically, it's 30 something pages are brimming with generous take-aways.John provides a framework for common patterns of behaviour and persuasion observed in high conflict negotiations in civil and family disputes, often including legal representatives.The article sets out:• Some introductory boundaries to the topic of “persuasion”• A composite model of a persuasive lawyer...

West Australia Mediating Serious Criminal Cases (8/06/07)

Western Australia’s Supreme Court began a pilot program to mediate criminal cases last November, and is now expanding its “criminal case conferencing” program by covering more serious crimes, including murder and armed robbery, and appointing a second mediator. Mediation occurs only with the consent of the accused and victims (or secondary victims in the case of murder). While possible outcomes of mediation include agreements to substitute charges, obtaining admissions that will shorten the trial, and solutions that avoid trial altogether, the program is not plea bargaining. Further, as with civil mediation, mediation communications cannot be used in any later trial and the mediation is entirely separate from the court proceedings. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the state and deals with serious criminal charges and large civil cases.

Australian (July 13, 2007)(Subscription Required)

Geoff Sharp
The Alliterative Allure of Prof. John Wade (3/19/07)
Geoff Sharp
I mention Prof. John Wade a lot in this blog for a couple of reasons. First, he is wonderfully knowledgeable about all things mediation, but more than that - he is one of my favorite types of people - he is a list junkie... he has 5 ways to do this, 10 ways to do that... Prof. Wade's lists are adorned with alliterative titles like Dobermans and Diplomats (a list of 17 impasse breaking strategies) or How to respond when eager, expensive, entrenched expert egos escalate enmity (a list of...

Australian Reinsurance Contracts Increasingly Include Mediation Clauses (11/14/06)

With arbitration becoming more like litigation, more reinsurers in Australia are turning to clauses in their contracts with insurers that require disputes to be resolved through mediation or expert determination. The trend is toward including both mediation and arbitration clauses in reinsurance contracts, with arbitration occurring only if mediation fails fully to resolve a dispute. Australian courts are encouraging parties to use mediation, which influences the way contracts are drafted. However, parties need to understand the benefits and limitations of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution before incorporating the provisions in contracts. Reinsurers may be more comfortable incorporating mediation clauses in contracts with sophisticated insurers and relying on arbitration provisions with those less sophisticated.

Mondaq (October 31, 2006)

Australia Selects Mediation Firm for Grocery Industry (9/20/06)

The Australian government has selected a firm to provide mediation services throughout the country to assist the Produce and Grocery Industry Ombudsman. The Produce and Grocery Industry receives subsidized dispute resolution services under its Code. The mediation firm’s contract is overseen by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Industry, which is instituting a nationwide public awareness campaign of the Ombudsman and the Code.

Industry, Tourism and Resources, Australia (August 31, 2006)

Mediation Growing in Asia Pacific Region (9/06/06)

Participants from India, Australia, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines attended the Asia Pacific Conference on Contemporary Trends in Mediation and Arbitration in Kuala Lumpur in mid-July. The keynote address by Malaysian Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz stated that his country is considering mediation legislation which would cover both voluntary and court-directed mediation in order to reduce court backlogs. The Chief Justice emphasized that courts around the world struggle to keep up with expanding caseloads and noted the successful use of mediation in Singapore, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. The conference was organized by the International Islamic University Malaysia and an arbitration center.

Bernama General News (July 18, 2006) (Subscription Required)

Mediation Avoids Australian Court Battle Over Corporate Assets (8/09/06)

An intense three-day mediation resulted in the return to Huon Corporation of business assets by the company’s managing director, Charles Shultz. Mr. Shultz had transferred the assets to private trusts while putting Huon Corporation in receivership last month. The return of the assets will enable the company to satisfy obligations to employees of its three businesses and potentially to sell the businesses as going concerns. The successful court-ordered mediation avoided a costly pending action in the Australian Supreme Court.

The Advertiser (August 3, 2006); The Advertiser (Bendigo) (August 2, 2006)

Sue Farley
Cleaning Up the Schoolyard (10/13/03)
Sue Farley
The classroom isn’t the only place in the school community where tension can mount. Whether it’s in the grounds, the staff room, the board room or even at home, the staff, pupils and management provide a fertile environment for dysfunction to manifest and simmer away in.   1 Comment

Promoting Australian ADR Abroad (5/13/02)
Sandra Purser
Australian mediators and alternative dispute resolution centres are taking a leading role in encouraging the use of dispute resolution techniques in the Asia-Pacific region. To take a case in point, the Dispute Resolution Centre at Bond University, initially at the invitation of the Australian Government and more recently as a result of its own efforts, has been actively promoting the adaptation of mediation techniques for use in Indonesia.

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4/14: Mediation In Turkey: An Alternative Method For Dispute Resolution

Long awaited Turkish mediation legislation was implemented in 2013 and regulates the terms and conditions for mediators and mediation. This law has been brought into force within the frame of harmonization of Turkish laws with EU legislation. Only the persons which fulfill the requirements stated by the Mediation Law may practice the profession as mediator. In Turkish law system, the use of this alternative dispute resolution may be decided by the parties freely and they are subject to equal terms and conditions during the whole mediation process ("equality principle"). Other principles concerning the mediation are: Ban on advertising of mediators; Confidentiality: Obligation to exercise diligence and principle of objectivity and independency; Duty to provide clarification of parties about the mediation period, its legal principles and legal conclusions; and a Duty to keep the documents. read

4/01: Mediation resolves 32-year-old civil case

India: Bharatlal Gangotri, 81, admitted that he had been left hassled attending the dates of this seemingly unending case which had dragged on for around 32 years before it was finally settled on Saturday during a live mediation session at the district court on Saturday. The legal heirs of Gangotri's late opponent were also present for settling the matter through the alternative dispute resolution process. Of the 39 cases that were taken up, 28 matters were settled through mediation in a single day. Though mediation is a process where confidentiality is maintained, the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) allowed the law students and lawyers to observe the sessions in order to popularize the concept. read

3/24: Yukta-hubby row mediation successful

A mediator appointed by the Bombay high court to explore the possibility of reconciliation between former Miss world Yookta Mookhey and her estranged husband Prince Pal Tuli has informed the judge that the mediation was successful. The HC has now scheduled the matter for further hearing on March 26 when the mediation report is likely to be discussed. Tuli had last year moved the HC for anticipatory bail in a cruelty case filed by Mookhey against him. Sheh ad accused him of cruelty to her, intimidation and unnatural offence.The HC had in October directed that a senior advocate be appointed as a mediator to resolve the dispute amicably between the couple. The mediator appointed was advocate Rajeev Patil. On March 13, he informed Justice Mridula Bhatkar in the HC that the mediation was complete. He however sought a week's time to submit his report. The counsel for Tuli, advocate Filjee Frederick and Taubon Irani for Mookhey were present and orally informed the judge that the "mediation is successful.' read

3/12: Singapore: Increase Community Mediation Centre's capacity and provide more mediation training to grassroots leaders

The government plans to increase the capacity of the Community Mediation Centre of CMC and provide more mediation training to grassroots leaders. Speaking during the committee of supply debate, Acting Culture, Community and Youth Minister Lawrence Wong says CMC has a fairly good success rate. About 70 per cent of the 521 cases heard last year were resolved. "Mediation is an important process as both parties agree on a solution, so there is ownership and responsibility to follow through. It also helps to preserve and mend relationships, so that neighbours can continue living harmoniously alongside each other." read

3/04: EU to urge mediation with Russia over Ukraine

European Union foreign ministers will push on Monday for high-level mediation to resolve the crisis over Russia's invasion of Crimea, while threatening the possibility of sanctions if Russia does not back down. In emergency talks convened after Russian President Vladimir Putin seized the Crimean peninsula and said he had the right to invade Ukraine, ministers will try to strike a balance between pressure on Moscow and finding a way to calm the situation. Germany, France and Britain, the EU's most-powerful nations, are all advocating mediation, possibly via the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, while not ruling out economic measures if Moscow does not cooperate. read

2/20: Medical disputes pushed to arbitration

A new regulation will require public medical institutions to inform patients that they have the option to settle their medical disputes through arbitration if the case involves a claim of more than 30,000 yuan ($4,938). The regulation, which goes into effect next month, is one of several new rules that aim to steer more aggrieved patients to the city's medical arbitration system, rather than letting their complaints pile up at local hospitals, said Li Heping, vice director of the Shanghai Medical Dispute People's Arbitration Office. "There have been a lot of unsolved disputes accumulating at public hospitals. We want to push more of them into medical arbitration by informing more families about the system," Li said. Patients in about 75 percent of medical dispute cases have demanded more than 30,000 yuan in compensation, Li said. The medical arbitration system began in 2006 as a pilot program in several districts, but it received few cases until it was instituted citywide in 2011. Last year, local medical arbitration offices dealt with 3,087 cases and resolved about 80 percent of them. read

2/18: Puppy's death: Mediation brings saga to an end

It took a 12-hour mediation session last week to finally bring closure to a five-month saga over whether Tammy the puppy should have been put to sleep. Both sides - the woman who adopted the seven-month-old mongrel before euthanising it and the animal welfare volunteer who found it a home - agreed that re-homing the animal would have been a better option. The saga first made waves when the volunteer, Ms Ada Ong, posted Tammy's story on Facebook on Oct 11 last year, four days after the dog was put down at a clinic in Clementi. read

2/18: Legal Eye: how to lessen the impact of divorce on children

It's not news that divorce and the legal process of separation have a negative impact on children. In recent years, as this has become more apparent, courts and governments in many parts of the world have attempted to minimise the knock-on effects for youngsters. In Hong Kong, the welfare and best interest of the children in divorce is of paramount importance. This is enshrined in statute and is where judges will start when they look at a divorce case involving children. It is also a fact that if conflict in a case can be minimised, the impact on the parties and the children will also be reduced. This has led to an increase in mediation - both outside the court process and within it - and the newer concept of collaborative practice. Initially, both mediation and collaborative practice focus on what can be agreed between the parties. The problem with traditional litigation is that it tends to focus the minds of the parties on what they do not agree on and consequently each takes a position. It is a different mindset. read

2/12: Mediation for Gabba pig man

A cricket fan who was found with a pet pig at the Gabba during the first Ashes test has agreed to undergo mediation with the RSPCA. Australian cricket fan David Gunn, 33, was charged with animal cruelty after the pig was allegedly smuggled into the Brisbane sportsground with its snout taped shut and disguised as a baby. Gunn was found holding the 10-12kg domestic pig, named Ash, on the first day of the test match between Australia and England in November. The Brisbane Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday that the case had been referred to mediation. read

2/07: Turkish Mediation Law

Mediation has been recognized by the Turkish legal system with the announcement of the Turkish Mediation Act on Civil Disputes dated 22 June 2012 ("the Act" or "the Mediation Act") entered into force on 23 June 2013. Highlights of the Mediation Act and secondary legislation [The Regulation on the Mediation Act on Civil Disputes and the Model Codes of Conduct for Mediators and Mediation, (partly based on the European Code of Conduct for Mediators and internationally recognized codes of ethics and conduct)] with a particular focus on commercial disputes can be summarized as follows. read

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