Resolving disputes without going to court

This page has information for people who want to resolve disputes before they escalate. Mediation involves a meeting between people in dispute.

Disputes can arise in many different areas of life.

It could be a disagreement with your neighbour over trees or fences, a dispute between members of a club, or it could be about noise from animals, machinery or cars.

Mediators are trained to help people resolve these disputes without taking sides.

What mediation involves

Mediation helps parties to:

  • talk and listen to each other’s point of view
  • discuss issues that are really important to them
  • consider ways to resolve the dispute
  • negotiate with each other
  • reach and make their own decisions.

Mediation can stop the dispute from escalating.

This can save the time, hassle and expense of going to court.

Read more about what you can expect at mediation (435.7 kb).

An agreement is reached in 85% of mediation cases.

Mediation may be voluntary, tribunal or court ordered or required as part of a contract or dispute resolution agreement.

Most mediation:

  • can be arranged within days
  • is free through the Community Justice Centre.

Find out information about becoming an accredited mediator.

Why choose mediation

Mediation is a fair and respectful process that is focused on achieving solutions everyone can live with.

When you use mediation, you remain in control of the outcome, rather than a judge. It promotes preserving important relationships between the parties.

When you use mediation, you remain in control of the outcome, rather than a judge. It promotes preserving important relationships between the parties.

Mediation is all of the following:

  • confidential – courtroom are open to the public
  • cheaper and faster – legal proceedings can be costly and take years
  • flexible – times and places can be to mediate to suit all parties
  • positive – builds on existing relationships and is future focused

Find out more about mediation on the Australian Government website.

Types of disputes

Mediation can resolve these types of disputes:

  • court or tribunal referred matters
  • disputes about money
  • neighbourhood disputes such as noise, fencing, pets, trees and property damage
  • inappropriate behaviour
  • between members of a club or organisation
  • disputes involving social media such as Facebook.

Mediation with the Community Justice Centre

The Community Justice Centre (CJC) is a Northern Territory Government service that offers free community mediation at local venues across the Territory. 

Telephone or video conference and free interpreter services can also be arranged.

When you contact the Community Justice Centre, a dispute assessment officer will:

  1. Listen to your concerns and clarify the issues.
  2. Suggest options, strategies and negotiation techniques which may help you to resolve the situation.
  3. Assess if your dispute is suitable for mediation.
  4. Contact the other person to arrange mediation, with your permission.
  5. Give you a preparing for mediation workbook to help organise your thoughts.

How to book mediation

Book a session with the CJC using the steps below.

Postal address

GPO Box 1722
Darwin NT 0801

In person

Community Justice Centre
Level 1
Darwin Local Court
Nicholas Place
Darwin 0801
Phone: 1800 000 473
Fax: 08 8999 6226

Other languages

Read information about mediation with the CJC in the following languages: 

Last updated: 27 April 2016