In October, 2007 the BC legislature passed the Adult Guardianship and Planning Statutes Amendment Act. Once the Bill is implemented, it will require mandatory mediation for guardianship applications in many common circumstances. While these changes will put British Columbia at the vanguard of guardianship law, mandatory mediation raises a multitude of issues to be addressed such as:
- impartiality of mediations
- capacity to mediate or participate in the process
- abuse / neglect / self-neglect
- conflicts of interest
- mediator accreditation / training
Due to the relatively low costs of mediation as compared to litigation, more and more families are turning to mediation as a way of resolving family conflict. Mediation may be well suited for many situations, but the same issues listed above must be taken into account to ensure that the process is fair, supportive, and respectful of the parties' rights.
In this project the CCEL is gathering pertinent research and consulting key stakeholders in order to provide information essential for both the adoption of mandatory mediation in British Columbia, and for mediators who work with older clients.
You can read the backgounder here.