The Employment Tribunals are running a pilot scheme of Judicial Mediation in the Birmingham, London Central and Newcastle regions from 31 July 2006 for between 6 and 12 months. The scheme will only apply to those tribunal cases which include an element of sex, race or disability discrimination and will normally be in instances where there is an ongoing employment relationship.
If the parties agree to Judicial Mediation, case proceedings will be stayed and the mediation will be carried out by a full time Chairman who is trained in mediation and who will not be involved further in the case if it proceeds to a hearing. The mediation will be in private, entirely confidential and may last for up to 2 days.
The aim of mediation is to achieve resolution of the dispute between the parties without necessitating litigation which is costly and time-consuming. The Chairman will be neutral in the Judicial Mediation and although he will assist the parties identify the disputed issues, he or she will not express an opinion as to the merits of the case or make a decision.