Legal review of the mandatory mediation process in South Africa
Keywords:mediation, confidentiality, court review, settlement agreements
Judicial understandings of mediation in the context of South Africa’s Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration are evaluated from reported decisions where a party sought to set aside a settlement agreement. What is apparent is that courts generally understand that the process of mandatory mediation can be robust and evaluative. The acceptable borderline for advice-giving, scenario-setting, pressure to settle and monitoring the settlement agreement is fact-specific. There is sufficient discrepancy between the cases to show that judicial assessment varies. Generally the courts seem to have no great concern over the breach of mediator confidentiality required in judicial review and none of the commissioners refused to cooperate in the review process.
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