The Settlement Conference process is part of the Board’s commitment to improve access to justice and increase the use of different dispute resolution mechanisms.
How do they work?
- 1. A settlement conference is a confidential meeting between the parties in the presence of a Board member.
- 2. A settlement conference can assist the parties in resolving their issues, without the need for a formal hearing.
- 3. The Board may determine that a file is suitable for a settlement conference or can schedule one following a joint request from the parties.
- 4. Once a case has been scheduled for a settlement conference, the parties are required to attend the settlement conference on the scheduled date.
- 5. The parties are requested to provide written briefs in advance of the settlement conference.
- 6. The Board Member will meet individually with each party in advance of the settlement conference date.
- 7. The parties are free to discuss the case openly at a settlement conference. Discussions at a settlement conference are strictly confidential and will remain so. This means that any information exchanged during the settlement conference:
- will not be disclosed to anyone (unless the parties consent to the disclosure).
- will be disclosed on a without prejudice basis, for the purposes of settlement negotiations only.
- cannot be admitted as evidence in any subsequent administrative or judicial proceeding brought by a party except when the same information can be obtained independently from other sources or when the information was provided by that party.
- 8. The role of the Board Member at a settlement conference is to listen to the parties’ positions, facilitate settlement discussion, discuss procedural issues, and to provide their opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of a case and the remedies that the Board can grant.
- 9. The Board member who presides over a settlement conference will not be assigned the hearing on the merits if the matter does not settle.
- 10. After the settlement conference, the parties may choose to settle the matter, pursue their case to adjudication, or to withdraw the case.
Parties can submit their joint requests for Settlement Conferences to the mediation and dispute resolution services: email@example.com