It is a voluntary meeting where a Tribunal mediator helps the parties to agree about how to resolve the complaint. Voluntary settlement is one way that the purposes of the Human Rights Code are fulfilled. A settlement meeting is sometimes called mediation.
Yes, there is no charge for attending a settlement meeting.
Yes. Parties are expected to attend once they agree to participate. Participating does not affect a party’s right to proceed to hearing or to make an application.
A mediation is private. Usually, the participants in a settlement meeting are the mediator, the parties to the complaint, their representatives and interpreters. In some cases, affected third parties may attend. In some cases, a party will not attend in person but will authorize someone else to settle the complaint on their behalf. The parties may also agree to have other persons attend, such as support persons.
Yes. Any document created for the purpose of the settlement meeting and anything said during the settlement meeting is confidential. It is not admissible as evidence at a hearing unless the person who provided the information agrees. Parties must agree to the terms the Tribunal’s Agreement to Participate in Mediation, which confirms this.
The parties may agree to attend a settlement meeting at any time, including before the respondent must respond to the complaint.
The Tribunal decides whether a mediation will be in person or by phone. In-person meetings are usually held in a neutral setting in locations convenient for the parties. Generally, the Tribunal may hold an in-person meeting if:
Yes, that may be possible. Discuss this with the Scheduling Clerk.
The Tribunal may offer to schedule a settlement meeting or a party can phone or write the case manager to request one at any time.
A mediation usually starts at 9:30 am. It may be finished before lunch time, or it may go to 4:30. Sometimes, everyone agrees to schedule more time.
Yes, there are breaks to eat, rest, or use the washroom. If you need a break, tell the mediator.
Feel free to bring snacks.
The Tribunal appoints a mediator who may be a Tribunal Member, a Tribunal lawyer, or an outside mediator. In all cases, the mediator is neutral. Mediators may use different approaches, including:
The mediator may contact the parties before the settlement meeting to prepare for the settlement meeting and to answer the parties’ questions.
The mediator may encourage the parties to explore public policy issues and to formulate remedies that address them, but will not require the parties to do so.
The mediator has discretion to withdraw the Tribunal's mediation services at any time, including if the mediator determines that:
No, the Tribunal decides who the mediator is. However, if you believe that a certain style of mediation would be best, you may contact the Registrar to request a mediator with that style or approach.
Yes. When acting as a mediator, a Tribunal Member has no power to decide the complaint.
The Tribunal Member who acted as mediator will not hear or decide the complaint, except where all parties agree in writing that the Tribunal Member may decide the complaint. All participants must sign the Agreement to Participate in Mediation with Presiding Member. See the Tribunal`s Policy respecting Mediation with Presiding Member.
Yes, if they are needed. Parties are asked to bring their own interpreter to settlement meetings. If a party is unable to provide an interpreter, and is not able to participate meaningfully without one, they may request the Tribunal to provide interpretation services. A request must be made at least three weeks before the meeting.
No. Although the Tribunal does not require parties to be represented by lawyers, it is strongly recommended that self-represented parties obtain independent legal advice. Time will be provided to allow parties to obtain independent legal advice before agreeing to settle.
The Tribunal may accept complaints filed by mature minors (people under 19). The Infants Act governs contracting by minors. A contract with a minor is unenforceable against them except in limited circumstances. If the Tribunal is aware that the complainant is a minor, it will refer the respondent to the Infants Act. The respondent may agree to participate in the mediation with the minor, or may request that the legal guardian attend. If the parties are unable to agree on the mediation participants, the mediation will not proceed.
The complaint will continue in the Tribunal’s process. That may include filing a response to the complaint, filing an application to dismiss the complaint without a hearing, or preparing for a formal hearing before a Tribunal Member.
If all or some of the complaint is resolved the complainant will sign a Form 6 – Complaint Withdrawal. After it is filed, the Tribunal will dismiss the complaint (or part of it).
After the complainant withdraws the complaint, the Tribunal process is over. The Tribunal does not enforce settlement agreements. Section 30 of the Code governs the enforcement of settlement agreements.