The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent social distancing measures are undoubtedly having an enormous impact on how we live and work. Courts are closed, millions are working from home and people have been warned against leaving their suburb let alone their State.

Social distancing has left many practitioners and litigants feeling as if their matters are in limbo.  With more people working from home than ever, why not take advantage of the online mediation platforms which could, perhaps, revolutionise how we conduct dispute resolution for the better in the long-term.

Online video-conferencing applications and websites are not only user-friendly and easy to install, they require little more than a laptop, iPad or phone to get started.

Gone are the wasted hours finding available rooms in busy or regional areas, the time and economic expense of gathering all parties in one location, and the prospect of opportunistic time delay in the current climate.

Parties can easily ‘meet’ within a matter of minutes in the comfort of their surrounds and free from any concerns regarding power-imbalance, logistal issues or CLOVID-19 constraints.

So how does online mediation actually work?

  • parties “dial in”, or are requested to join a meeting by their mediator.
  • live screens allow multiple parties to view and hear each other (during joint sessions / intakes).
  • muting and break-out room functions provide parties private conversations with their advisors and / or the mediator.
  • chat facilities available, either privately with the mediator (or other meeting rooms) or to the group as a whole.
  • simple use of whiteboard during joint sessions / private meetings and the use of document / screen sharing.

Mediators can arrange for online mediation using platforms such as Zoom / Microsoft Teams and talk through any questions you may have.

Don’t let CLOVID-19 impact the resolution of your matters. Instead, this is an opportunity to let the show go on and revolutionise how we dispute resolve in the long-term.