The Dispute Resolution Process
Human rights disputes are usually emotional, complex and urgent. They need to be resolved fairly, effectively, and promptly. When we asked our clients, many of them told us it took too long to resolve their disputes. They also said relationships had been damaged because of the disputes. This feedback has helped to shape our process.
Changes to the way human rights disputes are resolved has meant the people involved help find solutions, with a focus on restoring and repairing relationships. Those solutions now happen faster.
Most human rights complaints are now resolved through a process called a Resolution Conference. Here’s how it works:
- When a complaint is accepted, planning begins to bring all parties together. This can include anyone directly involved or affected by the dispute. The Commission may identify and bring additional people from the community who can contribute to the resolution of the complaint.
- All participants at the resolution conference may share their perspectives and talk about what matters to them.
- Often participants are able to create their own solution to the issue. A settlement agreement is written.
- If a resolution is not reached, information from the resolution conference may be used to make a recommendation to Commissioners, who will decide the appropriate next steps.
Most complaints will be resolved through this process. However, sometimes a resolution conference isn’t the best way to resolve a problem. Other ways of investigating a complaint may be used.