What is mediation?
Mediation is a dispute resolution process involving an independent facilitator known as a mediator. The mediator assists the parties to identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives and reach agreement.
Future act mediation typically involves the Government party, the grantee party and a native title party. Mediation conferences are conducted by a Tribunal Member or a staff member who helps the parties explore issues and develop options for agreement. Mediation can be conducted with all parties attending by phone, or in person, or a combination of the two.
Mediation can help parties gain a better understanding of the issues and options for reaching agreement. Mediation encourages a constructive discussion where each party is able to talk about its point of view. It provides a framework for positive and productive negotiations, and encourages parties to develop positive ongoing working relationships. Parties have control over the outcome, rather than the Tribunal making a decision about what will happen.
As the Tribunal does not charge a fee for its mediation services, mediation tends to be less expensive than arbitration.
How do I request mediation assistance?
Any party involved in the ‘right to negotiate’ process may ask the Tribunal to mediate. A request can be made by contacting the NNTT.
Once the Tribunal receives a request, it must attempt to mediate between the parties.
What to expect in future act mediation
Once a matter has been referred to the Tribunal, the mediator will organise a series of conferences, assisted by a staff member. Parties may participate in the conferences on their own behalf or through a representative. Participants may attend the conferences in person or by telephone.
Future act mediation is confidential to the extent allowed by the law. The Tribunal is prohibited from using or disclosing information provided by a person involved in future act mediation without their prior consent for any purpose other than:
- providing mediation assistance; or
- establishing whether a negotiation party has negotiated in good faith in the course of an inquiry into a future act determination application.