There are a number of alternative dispute resolutions and conciliation is one of them. If you want a resolution that’s inexpensive and hassle-free, then this might be for you. Learn all about conciliation and see if this fits your situation.
Conciliation is an alternative dispute resolution aside from mediation and arbitration. This can be voluntary, court-ordered or in accordance to the building contract. Conciliation isn’t a tribunal case nor a court case. It is also not a public hearing. The parties have a choice to resolve it with all parties in one room or they may opt to discuss with the conciliator separately.
As mentioned earlier, this isn’t the typical legal case resolved in a court. It doesn’t involve a judge or a lawyer so apparently, going through conciliation shouldn’t be that complicated. More importantly, this kind of dispute resolution can save you a lot of money as well as time and effort.
Both parties are oriented briefly about the role and description of the disputing parties. They are also briefed with the rules of the conciliation and the role of the conciliator in the resolution.
Each party is expected to tell the dispute in their point of view. Through this, the interests, arguments, and needs of the party is highlighted and being addressed to the conciliator. All of these shall be considered by the conciliator to come up with suggestions that may reach for both parties’ agreement.
It is at this stage where the conciliator is expected to summarise the points of each party as well as their strengths and weaknesses. As mentioned earlier, the parties are allowed joint sessions or discussions with each other – which the conciliator must also highly recommend in order for both parties to communicate directly. But they are also allowed to meet with the conciliator separately. Additionally, it is during this stage where the conciliator may raise options to resolve the dispute or raise factors that may not have considered by either party.
NOTE: The conciliator is not allowed to impose a binding decision on the case. He/she shouldn’t take sides while resolving the dispute. The conciliator’s role is limited to suggesting and helping both parties to get their arguments across each other until they reach an agreement.
Moreover, lawyers do not usually represent their client in a conciliation as the disputing parties are encouraged to settle the matter themselves. Nevertheless, if one party wants to be represented by his/her lawyer, this must be discussed with the conciliator.
The conciliator is allowed to meet up with each party privately to carefully discuss their side including their strengths and weaknesses. This can also be an opportunity for the party to come up with a possible solution that can make the other party agree.
At this stage, all options are narrowed down and final negotiations are made. However, if both parties still hadn’t reached an agreement, the conciliator may recommend the next step that may take which the disputing parties must act with good faith.
A building lawyer can surely get you through your legal situation. It is wise to seek the help and expert advice of a lawyer to make sure you are taking the proper steps to resolve your dispute. Moreover, getting help from a building lawyer can minimise your chance of getting into more trouble.
A construction lawyer is there to give you legal advice. You will need to learn what conciliation is, what it can do for you, and what you need to prepare and it’s a lawyer’s job to teach you all of that. A building lawyer may not be able to represent you but it can provide you with the guidance you need to make sure you’re armed throughout the conciliation process.
Contracts Specialist is a Sydney-based law firm specialising in building and construction. We can help you deal with your building dispute and guide you throughout your conciliation process. Also, we can lend you assistance with your mediation, arbitration, and litigation process.
Our principal lawyer, John Dela Cruz, handles Building Disputes, Construction Contracts, Security of Payments, and Debt Recovery. With his vast knowledge and 10 years of experience with building and construction law, you can be confident that you are getting the right legal advice. So if you’re in a dispute, call Contracts Specialist now.