Court-Based Mediation Services in Ontario:
An Evaluation of Participation, Success and Best Practices
Description of Project:
Mediation has been available at the Family Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for 20 years, and in all family courts in Ontario since 2011. Mediation service providers, funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General, are available onsite for parties who have matters before the court, free of charge. Mediation is also available offsite for more complex issues, or for issues that cannot be fully addressed on the day of court; these services are at a cost to the client, on a sliding scale. Legal Aid Ontario also provides mediation services to financially eligible clients in some Greater Toronto Area courthouses, as well as offsite facilitated settlement conferences elsewhere in the province where both parties have Legal Aid Certificates.
The spectrum of available publicly funded or subsidized mediation services varies significantly among court locations, as does the range of subject matters covered by each mediation service. There are also private mediation services available at many locales.
With province-wide availability of mediation completing its fifth year, 2017 presents a timely opportunity to look at Ontario’s array of mediation programs and services, with a particular focus on uptake, success rates, and ways to improve process, outcomes, and consistency.
Different mediation services are provided in different locations in Ontario. As set out in greater detail below, this research seeks answers to the following questions:
- What mediation services are provided at various Ontario Courts?
- How are the services provided similar and different from one another?
- What improvements can be made so that the mediation services can achieve greater success (in terms of number of cases, client satisfaction and resolution)?
Download AFCC-O Court Based Mediation Services RFP Jan-17 to view the requirements of this research project.
Deadline for submissions: February 24, 2017
Project Start Date: March 15, 2017
Project Completion Date: October 2, 2017
Amount of RFP: $10,000 (plus HST if applicable)