Interest-Based Mediation is a well-established field with a well-developed set of universally-accepted  values.  Every Mediator will put different importance on each value, and you should choose a Mediator who shares the values and style most important to you.

The field is unregulated, but guided by various codes of conduct published by the ADR Institute of Canada, Inc. (ADRIC), the ADR Institute of Ontario (ADRIO), the Ontario Association of Family Mediators (OAFM), Family Mediation Canada, and the Canadian Bar Association for the Attorney General’s Mandatory Mediation Roster.


Mediation is an Informal & Human Process.  The Mediator sits at the table with the parties for an assisted conversation, with a process and a structure, but none of the formal procedures of Court.  Mediation exists within the Justice system, and operates within the law, but with much more flexibility to come up with creative and personal solutions. You do not require a lawyer in attendance in Mediation, as you will not be signing any documents and making legal commitments in the Mediation itself.


Mediation is Voluntary.  It is Voluntary to come to the Mediation table and voluntary to stay at the table.  In order for people to participate in good faith and willing to work, it is important that no one is coerced to come to Mediation.  If parties are already litigating, a Judge may strongly recommend Mediation, but it is still up to the parties as to whether they want to participate.  If they choose not to, or if one or both parties leave the Mediation, the party or parties that refuse will not be negatively prejudiced in the Court process.


Informed Consent.  Parties must be aware of the process and implications, and alternatives before consenting to Mediation.  Information rules… it’s why we wrote this page.  [see ADR Models]


Mediation is Confidential.  In order for the process to yield fruit, it is important for participants to feel safe to express themselves and share information needed to solve problems.  A contract is signed commiting to confidentiality before the start of the Mediation process.  Nothing that is said in Mediation, no new discovery and no offers made can be shared in Court if the process breaks down and parties return to Court.  And progress reports reflect decisions only, and are shared only with the parties and their Counsel, unless Court-mandated.  If the Court mandates a  Mediation and requires it to be “open”, reports will reflect issues in progress and will be shared with the requesting Justice and/or Agency.  The exception to Confidentiality is that it can be waived if the Mediator hears of any abuse or threats to harm another party or child of the parties, in which case the Mediator has a duty to report any such threats or facts to the authorities.


Mediator Neutrality/Impartiality.  The mediator is a neutral third party and not on anyone’s side.  We consider we are on everyone’s side.  We aim for an agreement that satisfies as much of each person’s needs as possible and reasonable, so that every one can feel heard, considered and whole at the end of the day.  The Mediator is also not attached or invested in the outcome, and has no connection to the interests represented.  Because of this neutrality, the Mediator is also not compellable to testify for any one party in Court.


Self-determination of the parties to the conflict.  The Mediator does not make decisions.  The parties to the conflict are the decision-makers, assisted by the Mediator as a neutral facilitator.


Good Faith & Full Disclosure   Good information gives muscle to the decision-making process and informs good decisions and strong, enduring agreements.  Parties are expected to come to the table in good faith and with full disclosure of the necessary information to make decisions in their circumstance.