General federal law: Conciliation

Conciliation is a form of dispute resolution and provides an opportunity for parties involved in a legal dispute to reach an agreement without the uncertainty, cost and time of a court hearing. It is the process usually adopted to try to resolve disputes in general federal law matters in the Court. 

The Court may refer a proceeding, or a part of a proceeding or a matter arising out of a proceeding, for conciliation, an informal, quick, and cost-effective way to resolve issues in dispute.  

A conciliation conference is similar to court-annexed mediation, that is, mediation with a court-appointed mediator. The fee charged for a conciliation is a fixed-fee payment to the court, rather than a larger fixed fee, or hourly rate, which is common in private mediation. 

Unless the Court or a registrar otherwise orders, you must attend the conference in person. If you have a lawyer, your lawyer must also attend. Your lawyer will provide advice and help about making, considering, accepting or rejecting offers of settlement. 

During a conciliation conference, you must make a genuine effort to reach agreement on the relevant matters in issue. 

If an issue remains unresolved at the end of the conciliation conference, the judge or registrar may give further directions and make any other order, including an order for costs. 

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