Improving access to civil mediation

Posted on 06 Oct 2017

VCAT is extending its mediation Definition Mediations are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator. services to help Victorians resolve goods and services disputes, as part of our program to improve access to justice at the tribunal.

Mediation can be faster and more cost effective than a formal hearing Definition The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. , and gives the people involved more control over the outcome. It is among a range of alternative dispute resolution services we use to help people reach agreement at VCAT.

Victoria’s Access to Justice Review in May 2017 endorsed expansion of our alternative dispute resolution services for civil disputes. The government is supporting this expansion with $6.25 million over four years to the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV).

DSCV mediators have started working at our main hearing venue in Melbourne as part of the expansion. This will eventually increase from one day a week to five days, and regional service delivery is due to start in Barwon South West later this year.

Only disputes where the applicant Definition The person or organisation applying to VCAT. is claiming up to $3,000 are currently eligible for mediation. This limit will gradually increase to $15,000 in stages over the four-year expansion program.

Meanwhile, VCAT will continue to offer its other alternative dispute resolution services, such as compulsory conferences.

Find out more about the fast track mediation and hearing service, or learn more about the DSCV's services at disputes.vic.gov.au.