It is a voluntary meeting where a Tribunal mediator helps the parties to agree about how to resolve the complaint. Voluntary settlement is one way that the purposes of the Human Rights Code are fulfilled. A settlement meeting is sometimes called mediation.
Yes, there is no charge for attending a settlement meeting.
Yes. Parties are expected to attend once they agree to participate. Participating does not affect a party’s right to proceed to hearing or to make an application.
The participants in a settlement meeting are the mediator, the parties to the complaint, their representatives and interpreters. In some cases, affected third parties may attend. The parties may also agree to have other persons attend.
Yes. Any document created for the purpose of the settlement meeting and anything said during the settlement meeting is confidential. It is not admissible as evidence at a hearing unless the person who provided the information agrees. Parties must sign the Tribunal’s Agreement to Participate in Mediation, which confirms this.
The parties may agree to attend a settlement meeting at any time, including before the respondent must respond to the complaint.
The settlement meeting is usually held in a neutral setting in locations convenient for the parties. A settlement meeting may also be held by conference call or video conference.
Yes, that is possible. Discuss this with your Case Manager.
The Tribunal may offer to schedule a settlement meeting or a party can phone or write the case manager to request one at any time.
The Tribunal appoints a mediator who may be a Tribunal Member, a Tribunal lawyer, or an outside mediator. In all cases, the mediator is neutral. Mediators may use different approaches, including:
The mediator may contact the parties before the settlement meeting to prepare for the settlement meeting and to answer the parties’ questions.
Yes. When acting as a mediator, a Tribunal Member has no power to decide the complaint.
The Tribunal Member who acted as mediator will not hear or decide the complaint, except where all parties agree in writing that the Tribunal Member may decide the complaint.
Yes, if they are needed. Parties are asked to bring their own interpreter to settlement meetings. If a party is unable to provide an interpreter, and is not able to participate meaningfully without one, they may request the Tribunal to provide interpretation services. A request must be made at least three weeks before the meeting.
No. Although the Tribunal does not require parties to be represented by lawyers, it is strongly recommended that self-represented parties obtain independent legal advice. Time will be provided to allow parties to obtain independent legal advice before agreeing to settle.
The complaint will continue in the Tribunal’s process. That may include filing a response to the complaint, filing an application to dismiss the complaint without a hearing, or preparing for a formal hearing before a Tribunal Member.
If all or some of the complaint is resolved the complainant will sign a Form 6 – Complaint Withdrawal. After it is filed, the Tribunal will dismiss the complaint (or part of it).