Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) is dedicated to providing professional impartial third-party assistance to the parties in resolving disputes between them to their mutual satisfaction.
In fulfilling our mission, DRS believes in the following values:
We shall achieve our mission by abiding by the following standards of practice:1
Self-determination is the fundamental principle of mediation. It requires that the mediation process rely upon the ability of the parties to reach a voluntary, uncoerced agreement. Any party may withdraw from mediation at any time.
A mediator shall work to ensure a quality process and to encourage mutual respect among the parties. A quality process requires a commitment by the mediator to diligence and procedural fairness. There should be adequate opportunity for each party in the mediation to participate in the discussions as they see fit. The parties decide when and under what conditions they will reach an agreement or terminate a mediation; the mediator will play an active role in facilitating these discussions.
Promotion of mediation or any other communication with our clients concerning the mediator and the services offered shall be accurate. Mediators shall refrain from promises and guarantees of results.
Mediators have a responsibility to improve their professional skills and abilities. Mediators are regarded as knowledgeable in the process of mediation. They have an obligation to use their knowledge to help educate our clients about mediation, to make mediation accessible to those who would like to use it, and to address irregularity in the process.
The concept of mediator impartiality is central to the mediation process. A mediator shall mediate only those matters in which she or he can remain impartial and even-handed. If at any time the mediator is unable to conduct the process in an impartial manner, the mediator is obligated to withdraw.
A conflict of interest is a situation in which the mediator has or may have conflicting professional or personal interests. Such conflicting interests may make it difficult for the mediator to carry out his or her tasks with impartiality. Even though there may be no evidence of prejudicial conduct, a conflict of interest can create an appearance of wrongdoing that can undermine trust in the personís ability to act effectively as a mediator. The mediator has a responsibility to disclose all actual and potential conflicts of interest. If all parties agree to mediate after being informed of conflicts, the mediator may proceed with the mediation. If, however, the conflict of interest casts serious doubt on the integrity of the process, the mediator shall decline to proceed.
It is essential that mediators assigned to the parties have the requisite training, experience and right attributes to fulfill their mandate.
The reasonable expectations of the parties with regard to confidentiality shall be met by the mediator. The parties' expectations of confidentiality depend on the circumstances of the mediation and any agreements they may make. The mediator shall not disclose any matter that a party expects to be confidential unless given permission by all parties.
1 Adapted from the Standard of Practice drafted by the American Bar Association, the Association for Conflict Resolution and the American Arbitration Association and amended for the purposes of our services within the PSLRB.