Pilot to Permanency: The Ongoing Journey of the WA Mental Health Diversion Court

Magistrate Felicity Zempilas1, Dr Adam Brett2, Mark Edmunds3

1 START Court (Mental Health Service) Perth Magistrates Court 501 Hay St PERTH 6000 

2 START Court (Mental Health Service) Perth Magistrates Court 501 Hay St PERTH 6000

3 START Court (Mental Health Service) Perth Magistrates Court 501 Hay St PERTH 6000 

START (Mental Health Diversion) Court commenced as a pilot in WA in 2013. In 2016 it obtained funding via the Mental Health Commission to operate for a further three years.

START Court is a therapeutic sentencing court for offenders with a mental illness supported by a multidisciplinary team, including a dedicated magistrate, prosecutor and duty lawyers as well as psychiatrists, mental health nurses, social workers, peer support and community outreach workers. It operates four days per week in Perth Magistrates’ Court.

The development and operation of START Court presents many practical and philosophical challenges but some clear ideas have emerged about what works and what still needs to be done to ensure its success, in circumstances where success is measured not only by the satisfaction and performance of participants but also by government agencies who hold the purse strings.

Key strengths will be a quality evaluation, multidisciplinary/interagency co-operation and teamwork, a clear and consistent framework for the operation of the court, strong perceptions of procedural fairness by participants and consistency of staff attached to the court.

Key challenges include effectively measuring the performance of the court, ensuring co-occurring treatments needs are adequately addressed and given sufficient weight, selecting appropriate participants and setting a framework that adjusts to the rapidly fluctuating circumstances of participants.

The presentation aims to explore the experience of START Court in WA to draw from the lessons learned and identify ways in which the court can progress from a pilot to a therapeutic court which is firmly entrenched in the court structure.


Magistrate Felicity Zempilas is the designated START (Mental Health Diversion) Court Magistrate. Dr Adam Brett is the psychiatrist attached to START Court and Mark Edmunds is the manager of the clinical team attached to START Court.

Adam Brett is a Consultant Psychiatrist from Perth, WA, works at the WA Mental health court, also provides private reports for the criminal justice system, works in Busselton mental health and for the Autism Association of WA.

Mark Edmunds is currently employed as the Start Court Clinical Nurse Manager. I have over 20 year’s experience working predominantly in community mental health services, both as a clinician and in management. I genuinely enjoy helping disadvantaged individuals reach their goals whilst also providing a supportive and positive environment for team members.  I have recently commenced as a Master of research student, soon to begin my study in the Start Court. I have intermittently ventured into the private sector, not in health but as a Indian takeaway owner and property developer. So my hobbies or pastime includes trying new curries and lots of home renovations!

The Irenic Lawyer

Mr Joe Harman1

1Federal Circuit Court Of Australia, Parramatta, Australia

In his notes for a law lecture in 1850 Abraham Lincoln opined “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbours to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man”.

The message intended by Lincoln would appear lost in the present age when Court lists are clogged, governments struggle with funding to address the volume of work before Courts and litigious culture dominates.

This paper will explore the role of the lawyer as “peacemaker” particularly in the family law jurisdiction where the best interests of the child are the paramount consideration.  It will be argued that the duties of the lawyer to the Court, the rule of law and the administration of justice suggest if not compel an irenic rather than polemic approach towards disputes guiding everything from interactions with clients to the modalities of dispute resolution employed and the conduct of litigation.

Drawing upon jurisprudence and research regarding client attitudes to lawyers, the dynamics of conflict and conflict resolution and professional standards and duties this paper will argue that non-litigious and non-adversarial practice are not only viable and attractive means of legal practice but are required if not compelled if the interests of client, the community and ultimately justice are to be met.  In doing so this paper will explore how polemicism and adversarial practice are the antithesis of justice and how a culture of irenic practice would better meet the needs of the disadvantaged and vulnerable.


Judge Harman was appointed to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in June 2010. Prior to joining the Court Judge Harman worked in private practice as a lawyer worked extensively as a mediator/FDRP in private and community (FRC) practice. Judge Harman has also lectured at the University of Western Sydney in family law and mediation.  Judge Harman received a NSW Premier’s Stop Domestic Violence award in 2005, was a finalist for the Australian Human Rights Commission Law Award in 2013 and the Law Foundation Justice Medal in 2015 and in 2015 received a Resolution Institute award for promotion of excellence in dispute resolution.


The TJ Journey Continues: Reflecting on the Therapeutic Jurisdiction in Tasmania.

Liz Moore1, Magistrate Glenn Hay2

1 Court Mandated Diversion, P O Box 4660, Bathurst Street PO, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001. 

2 Hobart Magistrates’ Court, 23-25 Liverpool Street, Hobart, Tasmania, 7000.

This presentation will provide an update on the journey of the therapeutic jurisdictions in Tasmania, including Court Mandated Diversion (the Drug Court), the Mental Health Diversion List and the Youth Court.  Exciting new developments in relation to extending CMD to the Supreme Court and enabling alcohol related offences to be included in Drug Treatment Orders will be discussed, including implications for the possible development of a Drink Driving Court.  Implications for theory and practice will be raised, along with critical reflection on how the Tasmanian courts have addressed the particular challenges of implementing TJ.  The presentation will include photographs of the various therapeutic courts in action.


Liz Moore
Liz (MA, LLB) has case managed within Corrective Services for 26 years, in Risdon Prison, Community Corrections and CMD (the Drug Court). She completed a Master of Criminology and Corrections in 2012, focussing on the impact of drug courts around the world and demonstrating their effectiveness in reducing offending and achieving cost savings. Liz has visited drug courts and related programs in 20 jurisdictions around the world, has published in this field, and her work has achieved state and national practice awards. Liz is committed to the practical application of research to improve the effectiveness of programs and to reform the criminal justice system generally. She was responsible for coordinating government and NGOs to establish the original Visitors Centre at Risdon Prison after working in family visiting projects in UK prisons, and is now directing her energy towards developing the therapeutic jurisdiction in Tasmania.

Glenn Hay
Glenn (LLB) has had a long and diverse legal career since he was admitted to the Bar in 1976. He spent 23 years in private practice, specialising in the separate representation of children in Family Law. His numerous legal appointments have included SES Registrar of the Family Court of Australia, member of the Tasmanian Sex Discrimination Tribunal, member and Chair of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal and Director of the Centre for Legal Studies. He has been a Magistrate for ten years and conducts specialist lists to oversee the Court Mandated Drug Diversion Program, the Forensic Mental Health List and a Family Violence list. He enjoys sailing and rowing and ensures the viability of several Australian airlines with numerous visits to Sydney each year to enjoy spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Judicial Stress and Wellbeing

Carly Schrever1,2

1 Judicial Wellbeing Project Advisor, Judicial College of Victoria, 223 William Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, carly.schrever@judicialcollege.vic.edu.au;
2  MPsych(Clinical) / PhD Candidate (Topic: ‘Stress and wellbeing among Australian judicial officers’), University of Melbourne, cschrever@student.unimelb.edu.au

Judicial officers, by virtue of their position within a stress-prone legal profession, and the nature of judicial work, are uniquely placed in a crossfire of risk factors for stress.  Given the importance of judicial decisions in people’s lives, and the pivotal role they play in our democratic system, judicial stress is more than a personal concern.  It is well known that stress negatively affects the physical and psychological wellbeing of the person experiencing it, however when that person is in a position of responsibility and authority, their stress can have a broader impact.  It can impact behaviour, by undermining our capacities for emotion regulation and impulse control.  It can also impact decision making, by compromising deliberative and objective decision making faculties, potentially leading to more conservative and stereotypical decisions.  Acknowledging the reality of stress and building the capacity to manage it effectively are important aspects of judging well. This is particularly true for judicial officers seeking to adopt a therapeutic jurisprudence, problem-solving or solution-focused approach – as we cannot effectively encourage therapeutic change in others if we ourselves are struggling with the cognitive and emotional limitations of psychological ill-health, stress and burnout.  This presentation will review the literature on judicial stress, discuss the psychology of stress as it relates to traditional judicial work and to non-adversarial approaches, and explore a range of evidence-based strategies for managing stress and promoting judicial wellbeing.


Carly Schrever is a lawyer, provisional clinical psychologist, and PhD candidate.  Carly graduated from the Melbourne Law School in 2004.  She completed her articles of clerkship at Allens Arthur Robinson (now Allens Linklaters) and was admitted to the legal profession in April 2005.  Carly then worked at the Supreme Court of Victoria as Associate to the Honourable Justice David Habersberger, before commencing in the Education Team at the Judicial College of Victoria.  While at the College, Carly designed and implemented numerous judicial education programs relating to judicial wellbeing and skills development.

In 2013, Carly completed her Honours level qualification in Psychology at the University of Melbourne.  She was awarded the Australian Psychological Society Prize for the highest overall Honours marks, and the Dwight Final Assessment Prize for the best thesis.  She is currently undertaking her combined Master of Psychology (Clinical) / PhD at the University of Melbourne, in which she is researching the sources and nature of work-related stress among Australian judicial officers.  Carly is also employed by the Judicial College of Victoria as the Judicial Wellbeing Project Advisor, managing the development of a judicial wellbeing web-resource, and advising on other judicial wellbeing projects.

Challenges in Applying Non-Adversarial and Therapeutic Justice in Court Systems – The Israeli Example

Dr Karni Perlman1

1Striks School of Law, College of Management Academic Studies, , Israel

The lecture will address some prominent achievements and challenges involved in the implementation of a non-adversarial and therapeutic approach in judicial courts. It will do so based on the example of the Israeli court system. The discussion will focus on two projects: The first project is that of settlement judging, known in the Israeli court system as “Cross-Judicial Mediation”, which was implemented in both civil and criminal disputes; the second is that of an obligatory ADR meeting instituted by family dispute assistance units. A discussion of these projects may illuminate and support the implementation of Non-Adversarial and Therapeutic Justice in other court systems.

In the context of the first project, judge A would receive files that were under the responsibility of judge B, and conduct a special proceeding aimed at resolving the dispute by way of settlement. If the dispute wasn’t resolved by settlement it was transferred back to the original judge to handle and resolve with a binding verdict. The project began as a local initiative at some of the larger courts in Israel. It grew from the bottom up, as a consequence of the needs of the system and recognition of the advantages of the non-adversarial approach to the management and settlement of disputes. It was not directed by any top-down arrangements or guidelines, as it was not anchored in law. This fact gave rise to few problems concerning tensions between the needs of the system and the higher echelons charged with supervising it; between the desire to promote quality and efficiency in the management of disputes, which mainly came from the field, and the need to provide legally established regulation and uniform organizational guidelines. These tensions ultimately found expression in the objections of the Ombudsman of the Israeli judiciary to the project, which eventually led to the termination of the project in the hearing of civil disputes. A decision that was met with disapproval on the part the judges themselves. The Ombudsman’s decision to shut down the project in civil cases also gave rise to an anomaly, since it was contrary to a Supreme Court verdict that discussed the right of a victim to participate in a criminal judicial mediation proceeding, and in fact validated the project and outlined its characteristics in the area of severe criminal offenses.

The second project is an interesting and relatively new project being implemented in Israel’s civil and religious courts. In the context of this project, litigants involved in a family dispute are obliged to attend a preliminary meeting in order to receive information about alternative proceedings to adjudication, in the aim of settling the family dispute in a non-adversarial attitude. These meetings are attended by the therapeutic team present in special assistance units affiliated with these courts. A number of assistance units were established at religious courts for the specific purpose of implementing this law. The law’s original bill stated that four meetings may take place in order to help manage the dispute in a non-adversarial way, and that the parties will participate in these meetings without their attorneys. Moreover, regulations (though not the main law) that were instituted in order to promote the implementation of this project, provided the first legal basis in Israeli law for a collaborative divorce proceeding. In this context, tension arose between the desire to make beneficial use of the therapeutic approach in family disputes, and the position of the Israeli Bar Association which objected to meetings being held without the parties’ attorneys. Further tension was created by the clash between the State’s desire to promote an advanced conception of dispute resolution and the concern of the religious courts lest they lose their jurisdiction in matters of marriage and divorce. A specific lesson learned from this project was the possibility of practically promoting projects via secondary legislation as compared with the complications inherent in enacting laws via primary legislation.


Dr. Karni Perlman is a Professor of Law and the head of the Non-Adversarial and Therapeutic Justice Center at the Striks School of Law, College of Management Academic Studies, Israel. Perlman’s book, “Conflict Resolution – Applying Non-Adversarial and Therapeutic Justice” has been recently published (in Hebrew). The book introduces important transformations that have taken place in the content of judges’ roles as dispute settlers and explains the nature of settlement judging and therapeutic judging. It also describes the change that is taking place in the content of lawyers’ roles.  Perlman is the author of various academic articles and other publications concerning Alternative Dispute Resolution, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Settlement Judging and Judicial Dispute Resolution, Problem-Solver Lawyers, Procedural Justice, Mediation, Gender, Legal Education and more.  Perlman also teaches Conflict Resolution at Tel-Aviv University. She is the founder and former chairperson of the first Israel academic mediation center.  Perlman is a well-known mediator who actively mediates cases in the field of commercial and labor law. She serves as the coach of the Striks School of Law student team participating in an international competition of clients’ representation in mediation sessions.

Improving Retention in Treatment in the South Australian Magistrates Court Treatment Intervention Court.

Ms Sue King1, Magistrate Brett Dixon1, Ms Laura Capozzi3

1Courts Administration Authority, Adelaide, Australia, 2Courts Administration Authority, Adelaide, Australia, 3Offenders Aid & Rehabilitation Services Inc., Adelaide , Australia

This paper is in two parts – it provides an overview of the Treatment Intervention Court operations and then describes a new initiative to improve motivation to change and increase participation and engagement in the court funded therapeutic treatment program. This in turn has assisted in compliance and completion of overall program requirements.

The South Australian Magistrates Court Treatment Intervention Court incorporates treatment streams for offenders with mental impairment: substance dependence and co-morbid issues. There is a 6 month long substance dependence stream and a 12 month stream (formally known as the Drug Court).

There is evidence that participants that complete drug court treatment are less likely to reoffend than those who do not, the low completion rates in programs are an ongoing source of concern.  While some researchers have suggested that low completion rates reflect poorly upon the functioning of drug court programs and significant practice changes are necessary – this ignores two other important considerations: substance dependence is it a chronic and relapsing illness and for some offenders their participation is motivated by the desire to avoid prison rather than the desire to stop using drugs.

Determining who is motivated to change and therefore who is treatment ready is an important part of the assessment process and research has shown that offenders who are assessed as ‘treatment ready’ demonstrate increased engagement in treatment and reduced attrition rates which consequently leads to a reduction in recidivism. Motivation to change contributes to treatment readiness and it’s important to address this prior to treatment to increase a participant’s chances to remain in treatment and on the Program.

The SA Magistrates Court runs a Treatment Intervention Court along the lines of a traditional Drug Court model. Screening for treatment readiness was introduced into the assessment process using the URICA – University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale in additional to information from the assessment interview to improve the identification of defendants who are motivated to change their drug use and those who have no intention of changing or are still just thinking about change. Those who were assessed as not treatment ready were not recommended to participate.

However as motivation to change is a dynamic process this front end strategy did not stop people relapsing into drug use when their motivation levels dropped.  Other strategies used by the Magistrate and the case managers to encourage and maintain motivation include regularly seeking feedback from participants using a survey tool develop in consultation with Dr Andrew Day and use of rewards and motivational interviewing techniques.

One solution to the problem of how to widen access to the Treatment Intervention Court for those offenders who need treatment but are not treatment ready and to assist participants who are at risk of program termination has been the introduction of a pre-treatment Treatment Readiness group program, developed by OARS Community Transitions, the non-government organisation who delivers treatment services for the Treatment Intervention Court.

The second half of the paper will discuss the aims of the treatment readiness group and describe how it has been utilised in the Treatment Intervention Court to improve access to more participants and to improve retention in treatment and compliance with program requirements.


Laura manages the Clinical Services Programs at OARS which include: Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services; Domestic Violence Services; Gambling Services; Comorbidity and Court Programs. She also has a policy role within OARS and undertakes  regular evaluation of programs to look at ways to improve service delivery and outcomes for clients. She has a Masters in Psychology (Forensic) and the focus of her thesis was looking at the South Australian Treatment Intervention Court (TIC) Dropout. Specifically she investigated ways to improve retention in the treatment provided to participants completing Drug Court Programs. She has been employed with Offenders Aid and Rehabilitation Services (OARS) since 2011 and is an experienced facilitator of MRT and DV/MRT group programs for offenders referred from the magistrates court.   She  presented at the National Family and Domestic Violence Conference in 2015. She has  experience in counselling and group therapy using a variety of therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Relapse Prevention.


Brett Dixon studied Law at Adelaide University, graduating in 1978.  Completed articles of clerkship in 1978, and began practice in general practice for Cleland and Co, primarily in areas of criminal law, matrimonial law and injury claims.Purchased the Elizabeth branch office of Cleland and Co in 1981, and then worked entirely in that area building the practise from a 3 day a week branch office, to a thriving general practise with 4 solicitors.

Mr Dixon found special interest in criminal law and developed a large clientele, predominantly consisting of clients from lower socio-economic backgrounds, many of whom had drug and/or mental health issues as factors contributing to offending behaviour.  This experience, particularly at a time when court run rehabilitation programs were thin on the ground, has been a helpful introduction into the work that Mr Dixon is now involved with in the Treatment Intervention Court.Mr Dixon was appointed to the bench in 2009, and has been the Magistrate running the Treatment intervention Programs in the Adelaide Magistrates Court since March 2015.



Marram-Ngala Ganbu: We are one

Mr  Ashley Morris1, Maistrate Kay Macpherson1

1Children’s Court of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

The establishment of a Koori Hearing day list in the Family Division of the Children’s Court of Victoria was a recommendation made by the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry in 2012. This recommendation followed the identification of the need for such an initiative by the Aboriginal Justice Forum (AJF23) in March 2009 given the high rates of removal of Aboriginal children from their families

Data indicates that there has been a 59 per cent increase in the number of Victorian Aboriginal children in out-of-home care from 2013 – 2015. A review also found that over 60% of children in out of home care were placed with a non-Aboriginal carer and over 40% of children with siblings were separated from their brothers and sisters.

The Marram-Ngala Ganbu Koori Hearing day aims to improve outcomes for Koori children involved in child protection proceedings by providing a culturally appropriate process to assist in decision making. Marram-Ngala Ganbu also sets out to improve adherence to the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle set out in the Children’s Youth and Families Act 2005

This session will describe the development of the Koori Hearing day pilot, challenges faced in setting up such a court and discuss the future of Koori Hearing day’s in the Family Division of the Children’s Court of Victoria


Ashley Morris is a Gunditjmara man from Victoria with ties to Dublin Ireland. Born in Traralgon Victoria and then moving to Brisbane, Perth, and Wodonga before relocating to Melbourne in 2011, Ash is currently the Koori Services Coordinator at the Broadmeadows Children’s Court. In this role he is responsible for the development and implementation of the Marram-Ngala Ganbu Koori Hearing day pilot.

Ashley started his working life at the Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation in Wodonga where he started as a Trainee Administration officer before moving into the Position of Koori Youth Justice Worker where he run a number of diversionary programs and assisted Young Aboriginal people on youth justice orders.

While in Melbourne Ash held a number of positions including the Broadmeadows Koori Court Officer, Community Corrections Officer, Koori Men’s Family Violence Court support and Coordinator of Koori Programs in the Koori Court Unit.

Kay MacPherson – 

1974 – 1978 Melbourne University ( Bachelor of Law )
1979   – Articles with Brian Ward and Co, Solicitors
1980  – Commenced at the Public Solicitor’s Office which then became Legal Aid Commission and then Victoria Legal Aid
1990 – Appointed head of the Criminal Law Division at Victoria Legal Aid
1991 – Appointed a Magistrate|
1994 – 2008  –  Sat at the Dandenong Magistrates Court in the criminal jurisdiction including the Dandenong Drug Court.
2008  –  Commenced sitting in the Children’s Court
Currently – Regional Co-ordinating Magistrate at the Broadmeadows Children’s Court and head of the Family Drug Treatment Court and the Koori Hearing Family Day Court ( Marram – Ngala Ganbu)
2012 – Appointed as member of the Adult Parole Board of Victoria
2014 – Appointed as Patron of Youth Education Support Inc.

The Family Drug Treatment Court: From establishment to practice and beyond

Magistrate  Kay  Macpherson2, Magistrate Greg Levine2, Ms Viv Mortell2, Miss Elisa Buggy1

1Judicial College Of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, 2Children’s Court of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, 3Department of Health and Human Services, Melbourne, Australia

The Family Drug Treatment Court was established in Victoria in 2014. The first of its kind in Australia, it has been developed using the principles of solutions-focused courts to address parental substance misuse where children have been removed from the family home due to the unacceptable risk this has caused. The Family Drug Treatment Court represents a fundamental shift in the way child protection matters are dealt with in the family division of the Children’s Court.

This panel presentation, featuring the Churchill Fellow and first Magistrate of the FDTC, the current Magistrate of the FDTC, and the Program Manager of the program will explore the design and development of the model, its implementation, and what has been found to work in this ground-breaking initiative (as well as what doesn’t).  Audience participation is encouraged and questions will be welcomed from the floor.


Elisa is a passionate advocate of humanising the justice system, and an avid explorer of best practice in health approaches to the criminal justice system.  She has managed Drug Courts in two Australian States and established the first Family Drug Treatment Court in the country.  She has presented extensively, both nationally and internationally on topics relates to solutions focused courts and is actively working on a world class education program for Victoria’s Drug Court.  She loves meeting new people and sharing her passions with others.

Let’s Talk About Compassion as the Foundation of a Solution Focus in Sentencing.

Dr Anthony Hopkins1

1Australian National University, Acton, Australia

At heart, adopting a solution focus in sentencing involves understanding the lived experiences of those who come before the court and using this understanding as a platform to promote positive change. It requires engaging with participants as human beings entitled to equal respect and equal consideration. And this requires paying particular attention to each participant’s individual struggle and working actively to empower them to realise their potential. So described, adopting a solution focus is congruent with both ‘equality before the law’ and an ‘ethic of care’ (King, 2010). Indeed, it is argued that these as complementary and interdependent values. But what motivates and supports the pursuit of these values in solution focused sentencing processes? Utility – understood as ‘what works’ – is key. So too is principle, and the rectitude of promoting equality as an end in itself. Yet to stop here is to miss the deeper foundation that underlies the pursuit of solutions in sentencing. That foundation is compassion: ‘the capacity to be open to the reality of suffering and to aspire to its healing’ (Feldman and Kuken, 2011). It is compassion that ‘enables us to be motivated to engage with suffering, to stay with it and understand its causes in a non-judgement way’, and it is compassion that ‘enables us skilfully to work toward the alleviation and prevention of suffering and its causes’ (Gilbert and Choden 2014).  If it is accepted that a foundation of compassion best enables the pursuit of solutions in sentencing, there is much to be gained from naming compassion as a key attribute of professionals involved in the work of solution focused courts and supporting them to further cultivate a compassionate mind.


Anthony Hopkins is a criminal defence barrister in the ACT and a Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Law. He began his career as a lawyer working at the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service in Alice Springs. Anthony’s teaching and research interests include a focus on why it is essential that particular attention be paid to the historical and contemporary experience of Indigenous Australians at all stages of the criminal justice process. He has a personal and professional commitment to holistic approaches to rehabilitation and personal change, born, in part, from his continuing Vipassana meditation practise.


Mediation and Conciliation: Identifying Worlds of Difference

Mr Jeremy Gormly1

1Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, Sydney, Australia

Mediation and Conciliation are poorly distinguished but profoundly different.

This presentation will distil Mediation and Conciliation and present the work being done by the think-tank Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (www.adrac.org.au).

Mediation is a usually facilitative, non-advisory dispute resolution tool that is a creature of the marketplace. It leaves both the mediator as a DR practitioner and the parties free to resolve their dispute as the parties choose and with a mediator unaligned to any policy or interest.

Conciliation is a usually evaluative and advisory dispute resolution process designed to promote resolution of a recognized form of dispute within pre-existing policy. Conciliators are trained to promote a resolution that actively encourage outcomes within that statutory or policy framework. Both parties and conciliator are bound to the policy that brings them together.

Whether, when and by what means each of mediation and conciliation is used, is the burning issue.


Jeremy Gormly SC chairs the Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, a DR think-tank which examines advances in appropriate DR for all forms of dispute. Jeremy Gormly is a Sydney barrrister who has done hundreds of trials, hundreds of mediations and dozens of inquiries as counsel assisting. He has concluded the Lindt Siege inquest. He managed the mediation of the outstanding HMAS Melbourne-Voyager claims.



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