What does Rule 41A mean for mediation in South Africa?

03 March 2020

On 9th March 2020 South Africa takes its first tentative step into the world of High Court aligned civil mediation. On that day Rule 41A, an amendment to the rules regulating the conduct of proceedings in the High Courts of South Africa will come into operation. You can access the rule HERE

This is a step to be celebrated and, in a series of short blogs over the next few weeks, Conflict Dynamics will unpack what the Rule means for litigating parties, lawyers, Judges and access to justice in general. In doing so we will address questions such as:

  • What is mediation?
  • How does mediation differ from arbitration and litigation?
  • Which disputes may go to mediation?
  • When should parties think of mediating?
  • Do lawyers, court registrars or Judges have a duty to explain mediation to parties and advise them to mediate?
  • What triggers mediation?
  • May parties refuse to mediate and what happens if parties unreasonably refuse to mediate?
  • Where do you find a mediator?
  • What qualifications must a mediator have?
  • May lawyers or  Judges mediate?
  • What happens if the parties can’t agree on a mediator?
  • Who pays for the mediation?
  • What is the role of the mediator? Facilitator, advisor, judge?
  • Are the parties forced to settle in mediation and what happens if parties can’t settle in mediation?
  • How long does mediation take?
  • Is mediation confidential?
  • Does mediation interrupt court pleadings or proceedings?
  • Can parties mediate outside the court aligned process?
  • How do you prepare for a mediation?
  • What is the role of a lawyer in mediation?

We look forward to taking you through these questions in the next few weeks and hope this will help enhance mediation. If you just can't wait for the blogs and want to know more about mediators provided by Conflict Dynamics click HERE

- John Brand