Resolving disputes without a hearing

If you decide to resolve a dispute without a hearing, there are some procedures you should be aware of.

This section gives you practical advice on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the Land Court, how and where to file court documents, using alternative dispute resolution techniques and how to cost effectively resolve a dispute without a hearing.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

The Land Court is committed to resolving disputes fairly, cost-effectively and efficiently. ADR makes an important contribution to the court achieving that goal.

Preliminary conference (PC)

A PC is an informal meeting, supervised by the court, which brings the parties together to discuss the case and try to settle it at an early stage.

Mediation

A mediation is an informal dispute settlement process convened by a trained third party (mediator) to help them reach their own solution without the need for a court hearing. The mediator will not make any decisions about the case or give legal advice.

No party is required to settle their case at mediation.

Case appraisal

Case appraisal is an expert neutral evaluation of a case without a hearing before the court. The case appraisal is conducted by a convenor from the court’s ADR panel and the procedure for the case appraisal is at their discretion. The convenor makes a decision on material provided by the parties. The decision is only final and binding if a party does not elect to continue to a hearing in the court.

ADR panel of convenors

The court established the ADR panel to help parties find a suitably qualified convenor.

Alternative dispute resolution forms (ADR)

All forms referred to in this section are available on the ADR forms page.

Court managed expert evidence (CMEE)

In most cases in the Land Court the expert witnesses will give evidence. If there is more than one expert in a discipline or area of expertise, the court will make directions for the preparation of a joint expert witness report.

In complex cases, or where the court considers that closer supervision of the briefing and conferencing of expert witnesses is necessary, the court may direct the parties to engage in Court managed expert evidence (CMEE). Unless otherwise directed, the CMEE process is ‘without prejudice’.

CMEE is conducted by a member, the judicial registrar or a convenor from the court’s ADR panel. Their role is to ensure the expert evidence is well prepared and promotes a fair and effective hearing.