What is it?
Online mediation is an informal problem solving process and is a specific type of mediation that provides fast, effective and affordable solutions.
Online mediation uses the computer, email and internet technology as the communication tools for the mediation sessions.
Why use it?
Research has shown that there will always be certain cases for which online mediation is appropriate and that the mediation process itself is more important than the means by which it is conducted.
Online mediation is effective, efficient and affordable for some cases such as the following:
if the parties are geographically distant from one another,
if the timing of the resolution is important as often online mediation is easy to schedule,
if the are many jurisdictions with complex issues, then online mediation provides a means to clarify and record the interests of the parties as the process progresses,
if there are any power imbalances, then online mediation provides a safe forum for all parties, and
often the parties are less reactionary as they have time to reflect on the situation as required.
Who could benefit?
Gillian provides online mediation services to all levels of government. Governments responsible for complex public policy issues can benefit from online mediation as these issues are “ripe” for mediation. Also, government staff are already familiar with computers, email and the online forum.
Online mediation may also be useful for some First Nations issues that involve communications with membership at a distance and groupings of Nations such as in Tribal Councils.
Online mediation could also be used to resolve civil issues such as construction cases or specific family matters when the parties are comfortable with the online environment.