In most cases, privacy and confidentiality are recognized as important benefits of mediation and arbitration, but they are not unconditional.
In a recent family law case, the Supreme Court of Canada has again reminded us that there are limitations to the confidential nature of mediation. In particular, mediation communications may be disclosed to prove the existence and terms of a mediated settlement.
Association de médiation familiale du Québec v. Bouvier, 2021 SCC 54, involved a dispute between former spouses over a number of separation, child custody and support issues. In Quebec, the provincial government makes mediation widely available . . . [more]