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In some cases the court process, rather than mediation, is the most appropriate way to sort out disputes. For example, some people want a magistrate to decide who is right or wrong, or they want lawyers to act for them, or they don't want to speak to the other party under any circumstances. (It should be emphasised that most people find mediation very helpful, but if it doesn't work the court system can still be used.)

Mediation is the most appropriate process for the settlement of a dispute if:

  • a person has a problem with another person and doesn’t want it to escalate so much that it has to go to court; or
  • there is a need to continue relating to the other person (for example, as neighbour, ex-spouse or family member) and wants the relationship to improve (or at least not deteriorate); or
  • the person can't (or doesn't want to) pay the costs incurred by court proceedings; and
  • wants to sort out the problem as peacefully, effectively and cheaply as possible.

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