When discussing the four dispute resolution methods used by courts and VCAT (mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial determination), students need to be able to identify each method and distinguish them from each other. Each method can be distinguished from another based on at least one of the following: the role of the third party, formality of the method, whether the decision is legally binding.
|Name of third party||Role of third party||Formality||Legally binding decision?|
|Mediation||Mediator||Guide parties toward a resolution without making suggestions||Informal||No (not technically, although parties often sign a contract anyway)|
|Conciliation||Conciliator||Suggesting possible outcomes||Informal||No (not technically, although parties often sign a contract anyway)|
|Arbitration||Arbitrator||Seeking a mutually acceptable resolution, but making a decision if this is not possible||Less formal than judicial determination, but more formal than mediation and conciliation||Yes|
|Judicial determination||Judge||Imposing a decision||Formal||Yes|
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