Mediation and Conciliation: Identifying Worlds of Difference

Mr Jeremy Gormly1

1Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, Sydney, Australia

Mediation and Conciliation are poorly distinguished but profoundly different.

This presentation will distil Mediation and Conciliation and present the work being done by the think-tank Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (

Mediation is a usually facilitative, non-advisory dispute resolution tool that is a creature of the marketplace. It leaves both the mediator as a DR practitioner and the parties free to resolve their dispute as the parties choose and with a mediator unaligned to any policy or interest.

Conciliation is a usually evaluative and advisory dispute resolution process designed to promote resolution of a recognized form of dispute within pre-existing policy. Conciliators are trained to promote a resolution that actively encourage outcomes within that statutory or policy framework. Both parties and conciliator are bound to the policy that brings them together.

Whether, when and by what means each of mediation and conciliation is used, is the burning issue.


Jeremy Gormly SC chairs the Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, a DR think-tank which examines advances in appropriate DR for all forms of dispute. Jeremy Gormly is a Sydney barrrister who has done hundreds of trials, hundreds of mediations and dozens of inquiries as counsel assisting. He has concluded the Lindt Siege inquest. He managed the mediation of the outstanding HMAS Melbourne-Voyager claims.


About the Association

The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA) is a research and educational institute associated with Monash University. It is funded by the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council (LCCSC) and also from subscription income from its membership.

The principal objectives of the Institute include research into judicial administration and the development and conduct of educational programmes for judicial officers, court administrators and members of the legal profession in relation to court administration and judicial systems.

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