Table of Contents
At DIGNIFIED DISPUTE RESOLUTION, our mission is to actively contribute to the creation of a world free from gender-based violence, domestic abuse, and bullying in all its forms. We are committed to providing top quality targeted trauma-informed training programs for educational institutions, workplaces and within communities that empower and uplift communities by fostering a culture of dignity, respect, empathy, and empowerment.
Central to our mission is the incorporation of trauma informed mediation (“TIM”) as a means of dignified dispute resolution. We believe in fostering open communication and understanding through mediation, offering a constructive and empathetic space for resolving conflicts. By integrating TIM into our training, we empower individuals to engage in dialogue, find common ground, and work towards solutions that uphold the dignity and respect of all parties involved.
Our commitment is to be a beacon of hope, fostering environments where individuals are equipped with the knowledge and tools to stand against violence and abuse, advocate for change, and support those affected. Through education, empowerment, and TIM, we aim to contribute to a safer and more inclusive society for all.
At DIGNIFIED DISPUTE RESOLUTION, our vision is to be a transformative force in building a global society where every individual lives free from the shadows of gender-based violence, domestic abuse, and bullying. We aspire to create a world where dignity, respect, empathy, and empowerment are not just ideals, but integral components of the human experience.
Our vision centres on the widespread adoption of trauma-informed mediation (“TIM”) as the cornerstone of dignified dispute resolution. We see a future where open communication and understanding prevail, cultivating spaces for constructive and empathetic conflict resolution. Through the integration of TIM into our targeted training programs for educational institutions, workplaces, and communities, we envision empowering individuals to engage in meaningful dialogue, discover common ground, and collaboratively forge solutions that honour the dignity and respect of all parties involved.
As a beacon of hope, we strive to foster environments where individuals are not only equipped with the knowledge and tools to stand against violence but are also advocates for positive change. Our commitment is to be a catalyst for a society that champions education, empowerment, and trauma-informed mediation, thereby contributing to a safer, more inclusive world for everyone.
DDR CODE OF CONDUCT
By accepting appointment to the panel of mediators established and maintained by Dignified Dispute Resolution (“DDR”), each mediator undertakes to adhere to these principles and standards of conduct.
Before the mediation begins, the mediator must advise the parties about his/her qualifications and that s/he is subject to the Code of Conduct of DDR.
- Mediation Process
- The Mediator must satisfy him/herself that the parties to the mediation and their advisers understand the characteristics of the mediation process, their roles as parties and advisers, and the role of the mediator. The Mediator must ensure that before the mediation begins, the parties have understood and agreed the terms and conditions which will govern the mediation, including those relating to obligations of confidentiality on the mediator and on the parties. It is best practice for those terms to be contained in a written mediation agreement unless the parties or the circumstances dictate otherwise.
- Fairness and Integrity of the process
- The Mediator must ensure that, if there are to be any pre-mediation private communications with the Mediator, all parties are aware they will have equal opportunity to raise issues.
- The Mediator must explain the mediation process to the parties and their advisers and be satisfied that they consent to the process being used and to the mediator selected (unless applicable law, court rules, contract or court directive require use of a particular process and/or mediator).
- The Mediator must conduct the process with fairness to all parties and must take particular care to ensure that all parties have adequate opportunities to be heard, to be involved in the process and to have the opportunity to seek and obtain legal or other counsel before finalising any resolution.
- The Mediator must take reasonable steps to prevent any misconduct that might invalidate an agreement reached at mediation or create or aggravate a hostile environment. The Mediator must also be satisfied that the parties have reached agreement of their own volition and knowingly consent to any resolution.
- Termination of the process
- The Mediator must ensure the parties understand that they may withdraw from the mediation at any time by informing the mediator and all other parties without being required to give any justification for doing so.
- The Mediator must withdraw from a mediation if a negotiation among the parties assumes a character that to the Mediator appears unconscionable or illegal.
Parties engaged in a mediation must be informed that they are welcome to provide feedback or complaints regarding the mediator’s conduct to DDR under whose auspices the mediation took place, in order to assist in the continued evaluation of professional conduct.
Parties to a mediation must, prior to the start of the mediation, be aware of how the fees and expenses for the mediation will be calculated, and how the mediator will be paid by the parties (and if shared between the parties, in what proportions).
Mediators may accept an appointment to act as mediator in any situation where they feel competent to serve in that capacity.
- Independence and Impartiality:
- The Mediator must always act in an independent and impartial manner. He/she shall act in an unbiased fashion, treating all parties with fairness, equality and respect.
- Personal beliefs or affiliations should not interfere with the mediation process.
- The Mediator must not accept an appointment without first disclosing anything within his/her knowledge that may, or may be seen to, materially affect his/her independence or impartiality. This duty to disclose is a continuing obligation throughout the mediation process.
- The existence of circumstances potentially affecting, or appearing to affect, the Mediator’s independence or impartiality will not automatically imply unfitness to act as a Mediator provided these circumstances have been fully disclosed and addressed to the satisfaction of the parties and the Mediator.
- If at any time the Mediator feels unable to conduct the process in an independent and impartial manner, he/she will express that concern and will offer to withdraw from the mediation. Such circumstances include:
- financial or personal interests in the outcome of the mediation;
- existing past or future financial, business or professional relationship with any of the parties or their representatives about which the Mediator is aware;
- other potential sources of bias or prejudice concerning a person or institution which may affect that Mediator’s independence or impartiality or reasonably create an appearance of partiality or bias.
- The Mediator must discuss confidentiality with the parties before or at the beginning of the mediation and obtain their consent to any communication or practice by the Mediator that involves the disclosure of confidential information.
- The Mediator must inform all parties about the limits of confidentiality at the beginning of the mediation.
- The Mediator must maintain strict confidentiality regarding all information disclosed during the mediation process, unless:
- compelled to make a disclosure by law, or by a court of law;
- required under paragraph 14 below, in which event the recipients of the confidential information shall themselves be bound to maintain the confidentiality; or
- the specific information comes into the public domain (otherwise than as a result of a disclosure by the Mediator); or
- the parties release the Mediator from the confidentiality restriction; or
- necessary to defend the Mediator from any proceedings or charges for which he/she risks incurring any liability.
- The mediator must, however, disclose having previously served as a mediator in a mediation involving one or more of the parties, provided none of the details of that case are disclosed.
- The Mediator may use or disclose confidential information obtained during a mediation when, and to the extent that, they believe it to be necessary to prevent death or serious physical harm or physical damage from arising or believe an illegal act may realistically arise. Before using or disclosing such information, if not otherwise required to be disclosed by law, mediators must, if they consider it appropriate, make a good faith effort to persuade the party and/or the party’s counsel or other advisers, to act in such a way that would remedy the situation.
- At no time will the Mediator adduce evidence or testify on behalf of one of the parties in making or defending a claim against another party to the same mediation where they have acquired confidential information from the other party, unless all that information is no longer confidential, or the party protected by the confidentiality gives consent, or is so ordered by a court.
- Informed Consent:
- The Mediator must ensure that all parties are fully informed about the mediation process, including its purpose, structure, and potential outcomes, before agreeing to participate.
- The Mediator must obtain the voluntary and informed consent of all parties involved.
- The Mediator must possess the necessary skills, knowledge, and training to conduct effective mediations.
- The Mediator must regularly update and enhance their professional skills through continuing education and training.
- The Mediator must be in possession of a DDR trauma informed mediation certificate.
- The Mediator must avoid conflicts of interest that may compromise neutrality or create the appearance of bias.
- The Mediator must disclose any potential conflicts of interest to the parties involved and, if necessary, withdraw from the mediation where such a conflict exists or potentially exists.
- The Mediator must respect the self-determination of the parties, allowing them to make their own decisions without coercion.
- The Mediator must provide information, not advice, allowing parties to explore and generate their own solutions.
- Cultural Competence:
- The Mediator must be aware of and respect cultural differences among the parties.
- The Mediator must seek to understand and address any cultural dynamics that may impact the mediation process.
- Professional Integrity:
- The Mediator must uphold the highest standards of professional integrity and ethical behaviour.
- The Mediator must avoid any actions that could harm the reputation of the mediation profession and DDR.
- Conflict of Interest:
- The Mediator must conduct reasonable inquiries to determine if any conflicts of interests exist. The Mediator has a continuing duty to disclose any conflicts of interests that may become apparent during the mediation process.
- Following any such disclosures, the Mediator must decline to participate as a Mediator in a particular case if any of the parties raises an objection, unless a contract or applicable law or court order nevertheless requires the Mediator’s Even then, if a Mediator personally believes that the matters disclosed would inhibit their actual impartiality, the Mediator should withdraw as the Mediator.
- After accepting appointment, and until the mediation process ends, the Mediator must not enter into financial, business, professional, family or social relationships or acquire financial or personal interests that are likely to create, or might reasonably create the appearance of, conflict of interest, partiality or bias, without making a prior disclosure to all the parties and gaining their consent.
- Continuous Improvement:
- The Mediator must commit to ongoing professional development and self-reflection.
- The Mediator must obtain feedback from parties involved in mediations to identify areas for improvement. Such feedback must be provided to DDR for monitoring and/or assessment purposes.
- Professional conduct issues and complaints:
- The Mediator must take responsibility for his/her actions during the mediation process.
- The Mediator must be accountable for upholding the ethical standards of DDR and the profession.
- A DDR affiliated Mediator may consult DDR about any professional or ethical dilemmas.
- Where a DDR affiliated Mediator is subject to this Code, a party to a mediation who believes there has been a lack of compliance with this Code may activate the disciplinary procedures of DDR under whose auspices the mediation took place.
Updated: 27 January 2024