Conciliation advisory

The definition of the conciliation is a bit of a puzzle, depending on whether you are acting as a mediator or arbitrator.

For theorists, mediation is said to be a purely facilitative process, whereas in a conciliation, the conciliator may express their own opinion during the process about the nature of the evidence or the jurisdictional powers of the tribunal. If he parties are unable to reach agreement, the conciliator may even make a non-binding recommendation. In these ways, a conciliator can bring to bear greater influence and direction on the outcome of the resolution process, the the mediator who is simply facilitating discussions.

Another way of looking at conciliation is to focus on the procedural aspects. Conciliation and Arbitration are identified in the Australian Constitution as section 51(xxxv) one of the legislative powers granted to Federal Parliament at Federation. When acting as a conciliator in a joint process with arbitration, the conciliator will for reasons of procedural fairness, never meet privately with any of the parties. Whereas for mediators, the private session with each of the parties is a pivotal part and a hallmark of the of the mediation process.

Which ever way it is viewed, conciliation is a dispute resolution process where the conciliator is a neutral third party who assists the parties to come to an agreement but who has, like the mediator, no power to impose a decision.