There is a range of alternative dispute resolution service providers available in South Australia, see contact points. Some organizations provide mediators in particular areas of dispute, for example, family or community. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has now been incorporated into many of our courts and tribunals. In addition, a number of trained individuals provide private arbitration, mediation and other ADR services.
Community mediation provides people with an alternative to court action. In South Australia, community mediation is run through the Southern Community Justice Service (see Service Directory). Although the service gets some government funding, it is not run by a government agency and has no power to force people to attend or stick to any agreement that is reached. The centre selects interested people from the community and trains them as mediators. These people then provide their time voluntarily to conduct mediations. The kinds of matters handled include neighbour, strata title, community organisation, care management, workplace, consumer and estate disputes. The service is provided free of charge although people are encouraged to make a donation, if they are able, to help maintain the service. Interpreters and bilingual mediators can be provided when necessary. Mediation can be provided in some regional areas and in various locations around Adelaide.
There are a number of individuals who practice family mediation. Organisations such as Relationships Australia and Centacare also provide family mediation services. (see Services.) Family mediation is now regulated under the Family Law Act 1975 . Mediation providers must abide by certain guidelines and meet conditions which include professional training to ensure high quality service.
LEADR is a national non-profit organisation which promotes and facilitates the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution. LEADR conducts negotiation, mediation and conciliation training and maintains panels of LEADR accredited mediators. People who are looking for someone to conduct a commercial or other mediation may contact LEADR or the Law Society of South Australia for a list of accredited mediators with details as to what they charge, their experience and the areas in which they practice. see .
Alternative Dispute Resolution in South Australian Courts and Tribunals
Under various Acts of Parliament and rules of Court (some of which are listed below), there are ways for disputes which have reached court or been submitted to a tribunal to be solved before a hearing takes place. These provisions consider the use of case evaluation and settlement conferences, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and expert determination.
- Industrial Referral Agreements Act 1986
- District Court Act 1991
- District Court Practice Directions 2006
- District Court Civil Rules 2006
- Environment, Resources and Development Court Act 1993
- Magistrates Court Act 1991
- Magistrates Court (Civil) Rules 1992
- Supreme Court Practice Directions 2006
- Supreme Court Civil Rules 2006
- Workers Compensation Tribunal Practice Directions 2009
- Workers Compensation Tribunal Rules 2009
- Administrative Appeals Tribunal General Practice Direction (Cth)
- Courts (Mediation and Arbitration) Act 1991 (Cth)
- Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth)
- Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth)
- Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)
- Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth)
- Family Law Regulations 1984 (Cth)
- Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.