Ensuring Access to Justice in Mediation within the Civil Justice System

37 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2016 Last revised: 7 Dec 2017

Date Written: 2014


Australian state and federal Attorneys-General have identified mediation as an important tool in improving access to justice for ordinary citizens. Shifts in government policy have greatly increased the use of mediation as a means of resolving disputes in civil matters in both courts and tribunals. Policy makers, practitioners, courts and tribunals aspire to reflect the values of the ‘access to justice movement’ in the increased use of mediation. This article reports on findings from empirical qualitative research that sought to identify what those in the mediation field think about mediation and justice and how they seek to guard against perpetuating disadvantage in mediation and thus improve access to justice. The insights provided by practitioners, mediation service providers and policy makers, tribunal members and magistrates, about issues relating to mediation and justice are detailed. Whether mediation should be concerned with justice and, if so, whether it should be concerned with procedural or substantive justice or both is explored. The conclusion suggests how the justice quality of mediation could be measured to ensure access to justice is enhanced for the disadvantaged and not diminished.

Suggested Citation

Noone, Mary Anne and Akin Ojelabi, Olufunmilola O, Ensuring Access to Justice in Mediation within the Civil Justice System (2014). 40(2) Monash University Law Review 528 - 563; La Trobe Law School - Law & Justice Research Paper Series Paper No. 16-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2808864

Mary Anne Noone (Contact Author)

La Trobe Law School ( email )

Martin Building Room 249
Bundoora, VIC 3083
(03)9479 2195 (Phone)
(03)9479 1607 (Fax)

Olufunmilola O Akin Ojelabi

La Trobe Law School ( email )

La Trobe University
Bundoora, VIC 3083 3142

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