To reinforce the principle that mediation should be as confidential as possible

To reinforce the principle that mediation should be

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To reinforce the principle that mediation should be as confidential as possible , no communications may be admitted, without the permission of a court, into any ‘judicial, arbitral, administrative or disciplinary proceedings’ (s 9). Family Mediation: Parties not required to prove their cases. Helps family members to identify their common interests . Divorcing parents will typically be asked to share time with their children in lieu of competing for custody and care. A Pilot Scheme on Family Mediation was launched by the Judiciary in 2000. Mediation Coordinators’ Offices (Family Court), and Mediation Information Office (High Court). However, mediation is not suitable for disputes involving domestic violence or child abuse. 45 46
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24 Other Areas of Mediation: Labours relations mediation Business related disputes Government contracts Construction contracts Investment mediation Equal Opportunities Commission conciliation process Office of the Ombudsman mediation in public sector disputes Free Mediation Service Scheme for Building Management Advantages of mediation: Confidentiality Non-adversarialism Win-win Less stressful for the parties Preserve relationship Avoids high legal costs Save time Mediated settlements are based on mutual agreement and generally respected 47 48
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25 Limitations of mediation: Effectiveness depends on the willingness of the parties to be reconciled. Not suitable for disputes about questions of law , as mediators apply no law. Mediation heavily relies on honesty in lieu of strict rules of evidence and discovery May be unsuitable for complex disputes which involve volumes of documents. Judicial Promotion of Mediation 49 50
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26 iRiver Hong Kong Ltd v Thakral Corp (HK) Ltd (2008), Court of Appeal (Yeung JA): ‘[T]his is a typical case where parties should have explored resolution of their disputes by mediation . The total damages are just over $1 million . However, we are told that the total legal costs incurred by the parties, including costs of this appeal, run up to about $4.7 million …. it is indeed regrettable that the parties in the present case have not had the good sense of trying to resolve their commercial dispute by a much more cost- effective means’. Paragraph 1, Practice Direction 31 (Mediation) (2010) (Li CJ): ‘An underlying objective of the Rules of the High Court and the District Court is to facilitate the settlement of disputes. The Court has the duty as part of active case management to further that objective by encouraging the parties to use an alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) procedure if the Court considers that appropriate and facilitating its use …’ 51 52
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27 Practice Direction 15.10 (Family Mediation) (2012) (Ma CJ): Lawyers should ‘advise their clients of the possibility of the Court making an adverse costs order , where a party unreasonably fails to engage in mediation’.
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