- Contemporary mediation is a structured and highly strategic process available to be employed in almost every type of civil litigation.
- It is widely used overseas, including in the United States, Europe, and the People’s Republic of China where the success rate is reportedly 97.2 per cent.
- However mediation remains underutilised in Australia, and its more widespread use would greatly benefit litigants and the legal system.
For approximately 20 years, mediation has been used in varying degrees in Australian courts. It was essentially pioneered in this state by Sir Laurence Street AC, KCMG, QC and by The Hon. Trevor Morling QC, a former judge of the Federal Court of Australia.
Much has been written in recent times concerning mediation as an alternative or, more correctly, an additional form of dispute resolution (Justice P.A. Bergin, ‘The Global Trend in Mediation: Confidentiality and Mediation in Complex Commercial Disputes’ (Paper presented at Mediation Conference, Hong Kong, 20 March 2014)).
There have also been excellent textbooks on mediation: see, for example, Mediation: Principles, Process, Practice by Laurence Boulle, 2nd Edition, LexisNexis Butterworths (2005); and Mediation Law and Practice by David Spencer and Michael Brogan, Cambridge University Press (2006).