Role of the Mediator
The mediator’s primary responsibility is to enable dialogue between the disputing parties in order to assist them in reaching a consensual, timely, fair, and cost-effective resolution to their disagreement. Despite the fact that the mediator chairs the conference and oversees the procedures, he or she should not impose solutions or choices and has no authority to force a settlement. Only through reaching an agreement between the parties can a solution be found. They are in charge of the final conclusion of the conflict. Furthermore, even if the mediator is a lawyer, he or she has no right or obligation to provide legal advice to the parties. The parties should only get legal advice from their attorneys. The mediator, on the other hand, has the authority to raise issues and assist parties in exploring options.
Duties of the Mediator
The following are the responsibilities of a mediator to be aware of:
Code of Conduct
The Act mandates that mediators adhere to the Centre’s Code of Conduct for Mediators when performing their duties as mediators.
A mediator should only take on cases in which he or she can maintain objectivity. In both behaviour and appearance, impartiality is being free of favouritism, bias, or prejudice.
If the mediator seems unable to conduct the process impartially at any time, or if the parties, or any one of them, expresses doubt about the mediator’s impartiality, in any case, the mediator should quit and the Mediation Centre will select another mediator in his place.
- The Mediator’s Challenge and Impartiality
Any mediation party has the right to dispute a mediator’s impartiality. When a mediator is questioned, he or she should step down and be replaced by a new mediator. If the challenged mediator does not withdraw, the challenge will be decided by the chairman of the Centre’s Board of Governors, and his decision will be final and binding. If the Chairman accepts the challenge, the Centre will designate a substitute mediator.
- Challenge Notification
Within 15 days after the party making the challenge has already become, or might have become, aware of circumstances that give rise to justifiable doubt as to the mediator’s impartiality, the party making the challenge should send a written notice of his challenge to the Registrar, the other party or parties, and the mediator challenged, stating the reasons for such challenge.
- Potential for a conflict of interest
Any actual or potential conflict of interest that a mediator becomes aware of must be disclosed to the parties as soon as possible, whether before consenting to act or at any point throughout the mediation process.
If a mediator has a conflict of interest, he or she may only accept or continue the mediation if the parties express their consent in writing; however, if the mediator believes that the conflict of interest raises even the slightest reasonable doubt about the process’ integrity, he or she should decline to proceed regardless of the parties’ consent.
To make a mediator appointment, contact AIAC.