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Alberta Provincial Court Civil Claims Mediation

Year: 
1998
Description: 

Alberta regulation introducing mandatory mediation in selected Provincial Court cases to assist the parties in resolving disputes without going to trial.

Status: 

Permanent implementation in four court centres

Jurisdiction: 

Alberta

Court: 

Provincial Court - Civil Division

Body Responsible: 

Alberta Justice

Timeline: 
January 1998 Implemented in Edmonton
September 1998 Implemented in Calgary
January 2006 Implemented in Lethbridge
February 2006 Implemented in Medicine Hat
November 2006 Implemented in Red Deer
2007 Implemented in Grand Prairie
Development: 

The mediation process was developed and implemented in 1997 in Alberta Regulation 271/1997 under ss. 65 and 66 of the Provincial Court Act.

Description of Reforms: 
  • At any time after a dispute note is filed the matter may be reviewed and chosen for mediation. Parties are sent a letter signed by a judge requiring them to attend a mediation session at a specific date and time. All parties are required to attend mediation and a corporate representative must have knowledge of the case and the authority to resolve it. Counsel and agents representing parties may attend with the party.
  • The mediation session must occur within three months after the last dispute note is filed.
  • Failure to attend mediation may result in the party who failed to attend without a reasonable excuse being ordered to pay costs of up to $50, being unable to take further proceedings in the action, or having the claim or dispute note struck out, entitling the other part to apply for a judgment without a trial.
  • A party must make an application to the Court exempting them from the requirement to mediate.
  • Co-mediation is used in this program to ensure quality of service. All mediators are volunteers and receive an honorarium of $75 per mediation session. Each session typically lasts two hours.
  • To mediate with this program, mediators must have completed at least 40 hours of basic mediation training. Candidates who meet this requirement are invited to attend a determination interview. Successful interviewees are invited back to an orientation session and must sign a Code of Ethics, Oath of Confidentiality, and agree to a criminal check. In the Code of Ethics it states that the mediator agrees they are committed to continuous learning. Alberta Justice supports on-going training for the mediators; training may include lunch hour sessions and at least one major training session per year where the mediators pay a nominal registration fee of $50.
  • The mediation coordinators provide on-going support to the mediators and parties. The coordinators address questions and concerns from all parties and the mediators and make administrative decisions including determining the suitability of cases for mediation.
  • There is no cost to the parties to attend mediation. Alberta Justice funds this program, including the majority of the training costs.
Results: 

The court centres which have implemented the program keep statistics on the mediation settlement rate. Statistics collected from the Calgary and Edmonton programs in 2005 indicate a mediation settlement rate of approximately 63% using interest-based mediation.

Revision History:
This summary was last reviewed in Oct 24, 2013:custom:F, Oct 24, 2013:custom:Y.