The "fight in court" and "don't talk to me, talk to my lawyer" approaches have dominated civil justice for decades, but things are about to change significantly. The Department of Justice recently published a series of mediation rules that South Africa's Supreme Court hopes to implement in August 2013.
So what does that mean? The rules introduce a mediation process in which the parties to a civil dispute have the option of referring the dispute to mediation. You can now easily find the best water, divorce and land rights mediation.
Image Source: Google
If the other party refuses to participate in the mediation process and this refusal is deemed unfounded by the court during the process, this party faces high costs. Mediation is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative way to resolve family and business disputes. Litigation is a lengthy process that has become more expensive and inaccessible to most South Africans.
Despite a number of advantages associated with mediation, there are cases where mediation is not necessarily an appropriate tool for resolving family law disputes. This scenario usually arises when there is suspected child abuse, a history of domestic violence, a history of threats from others, a history of severe mental illness or intellectual disability that affects the person's ability to make informed decisions.