David Spencer



The Attorney-General of Victoria has set the proverbial ‘cat amongst the pigeons’ by suggesting that judicial mediators could be appointed in Victoria sooner rather than later. Judicial mediators have been operating in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario for 10 years or more and mediation has been embraced by the judiciary, more widely under the descriptor ‘judicial dispute resolution’ (JDR), in other provinces of Canada for some time. However their appointment overseas has been the subject of controversy here in Australia, with some commentators believing that the appointment of judicial mediators blurs the line between the role of the courts as being purely for adjudication and the role of mediator as helping parties to seek a consensual solution to their dispute.