Mediation is defined in the Act as “a confidential, facilitative and voluntary process in which parties to a dispute, with the assistance of a mediator, attempt to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve the dispute.”
Because mediation is voluntary, a person cannot be required to use mediation to resolve their dispute. All of the parties must agree to use mediation to try to resolve the dispute.
Even when the parties have agreed to use mediation, it remains voluntary. The parties are free to decide at any time not to continue.
Only the parties decide if, when and how to resolve their dispute in mediation. The terms of any resolution agreement reached between the parties only becomes binding on them when set down in writing and signed by them. The Act provides that, once a settlement agreement is concluded and signed by the parties in mediation, it can be enforced like any other binding contract.