Circular 36/12: Introduction of Automatic Mediation in Accident Cases in the Johor Bahru Courts (1st Update)

Further to the JBC Circular No. 18/12 dated 24th April 2012 and Circular No.19/12 dated 27th April 2012, we are pleased to inform you that the pilot project to introduce automatic mediation for all accident cases in the Johor Bahru courts took off on 1st June 2012.

We enclose herewith letter dated 29th May 2012 from Pn. Rasidah binti Roslee, Deputy Registrar of the Johor Bahru High Court, which is self-explanatory, together with the proposed Mediation Flow Chart and Mediation Kit, for your attention.

The following Guidelines have been agreed upon by the Joint Working Committee on Mediation in Accident Cases, and would be followed by the court in respect of mediation:

1. The target for completion of all accident cases is 9 to 12 months from the date of filing of summons.

2. The 1st mention date for the case would be 1 month from the date of filing of Summons.

3. It would be advisable for Plaintiffs to have their specialist report(s) and all supporting documents for their claim before filing the summons in Court. If the Defendant wishes to refer the Plaintiff to a specialist of his choice for re-examination, he must do so within three months after the close of pleadings. Parties are also required to define issues in detail to facilitate meaningful settlement.

4. At the 1st mention date, the Registrar would give two weeks to file the Defence (and if need be, two extensions of 2 weeks each would be given for this purpose).

5. After the close of pleadings, the Registrar would give directions on the filing of the Bundle of Documents. Further documents may be admitted with the leave of the Court.

6. After the initial mention(s) before the Registrar, the case would be fixed for Pre-Trial Case Management before the Judge, roughly between 16 to 18 weeks from the date of filing of the matter.

7. The Judge would fix the case for hearing in about 3 months’ time, i.e. Roughly about 7 to 8 months from the date of filing.

8. At the same time, at the request of the parties, the Judge would refer the case for mediation, which would be conducted in two stages, namely:

(a) Pre-mediation Conference; and

(b) Mediation.

9. The same mediator would do both the pre-mediation conference and the mediation.

10. The date for mediation would be fixed within two weeks of the pre-mediation conference.

11. The Court will not compel the parties to the action to undergo mediation, but would merely offer mediation as an option. The choice must be exercised at the pre-trial case management stage.

12. At the same time, parties opting for mediation have a choice of mediator, either court-appointed mediator or private mediator from the Malaysian Mediation Centre (MMC).

13. The services of the court-appointed mediator are provided free-of-charge.

14. The present practice of two Sessions Court Judges hearing accident cases would continue, and they will not act as mediators.

15. The proposal is for the other Sessions Court Judges to function as mediators.

16. Parties to the action, viz. the Plaintiff(s) and the Defendant(s) must be present together with their counsel during the mediation.

17. It would be desirable for representative(s) from the insurance company, who has/have the authority to settle, to be present, but this may not always be possible due to logistics reason. But the insurance companies have indicated that, they would most likely attend the mediation where the claim is either large or complex.

18. There will not be any record of the mediation proceedings on the court file. The mediator would keep a separate record of the proceedings.

19. If the matter is successfully resolved through mediation, Consent Judgment would be entered.

20. If the matter cannot be resolved during the 1st session, another mediation session would be fixed in two weeks’ time if the parties so wish.

21. If the matter cannot be resolved at all, it would proceed to trial.

Please be guided accordingly.

Kindly let us know if you have any query or encounter any difficulty in respect of the same.




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