Mediation is a conflict resolution process where a neutral and impartial third party, the mediator, helps the parties involved in the conflict to negotiate a satisfactory solution to their issues, the whole process being conducted respectfully and maintaining confidentiality. One of the objectives of the mediator is to reduce tensions between the parties in order to create a favorable environment for discussions instead of finding who’s at fault. The mediator has no decisional power and therefore does not impose any solution: the parties are the only ones responsible for their negotiated conclusions.
THE PROCESS :
- is confidential;
- is without prejudice to future judicial proceedings;
- aims at the solution, not at finding fault;
- involves the participants by allowing them to find the solution that suits them best instead of imposing it on them;
- often allows avoiding lengthy, expensive, frustrating and sometimes non conclusive judicial proceedings.
THE MEDIATOR :
- has been specifically trained;
- is independent and impartial, which creates a favorable environment for negotiating and makes the participants feel confident in the process.
A few examples of situations suitable for mediation
Civil and commercial mediation is applicable to all cases where civil or commercial rights are at stake, namely, for example, when a dispute arises:
- from the interpretation or application of one or more contractual clauses;
- from the interpretation or application of an internal rule or regulation;
- from the implementation or application of what is reasonable accommodation;
- between neighbors;
- between business partners;
- between health care professionals;
- between franchisee and franchisor;
- between sponsor and sponsored;
- between buyer and seller;
- between landlord and tenant.
Labor mediation applies to every case where an issue arises within the workplace or is related to the workplace. Here are a few examples of situations where such a mediation is recommended :
- when a conflict arises between employees;
- when an issue arises between labor unions and employers;
- for the purpose of negotiating collective agreements;
- when an employee is terminated and there is a negotiation regarding the notice or package to be given;
- when a conflict arises from the interpretation of internal rules, collective agreements or employment contracts;
- when an employee files a complaint;
- when a misunderstanding arises between members of the board of directors.
Mediation is sport related when the conflict involves an athlete, a coach, an official, a sport-related organization or one of its employees, volunteers or member of the board of directors. The type of conflict that arise in that field are usually very similar to the ones in civil and commercial matters or labor related issues, notably conflicts arising from:
- the interpretation or application of internal rules or contractual clauses;
- the interpretation or application of sponsorship agreements;
- the filing of a harassment complaint by members of a sport’s team or employees of a sport’s organization.
In other cases, disputes are more specific to the field of sports, notably cases related to:
- the selection of a team or an event’s athlete, coach or official;
- the discipline of an athlete;
- the financial support available to an athlete (carding related issues);
- the eligibility of an athlete for an event;
Family mediation applies when two individuals have decided to separate. In such a case, the mediation process allows them to address the different issues related to their separation in a respectful and structured way, notably:
- parental rights and obligations, including custody of the children;
- child support;
- partition of property, whether married or not;
- spousal support or alimony.
In certain cases, family mediation may be funded by the government. For more information about this funding program or family mediation in general, please consult the website of the Quebec Minister of Justice. (www.justice.gouv.qc.ca)