Conciliation is an informal and confidential process in which a neutral person, the conciliator, helps you and the other party find a satisfactory solution to your dispute.
The conciliation process is similar to mediation. However, the conciliator is generally a person representing the justice system or the public administration. This person may, depending on the circumstances, be designated by the parties, by a representative of the State, or by a judge.
Types of disputes suitable for conciliation
Conciliation is suitable for various types of disputes, including:
- disputes between a lessor (a building owner) and a lessee (a tenant);
Régie du logement - Conciliation Between Lessor and Lessee;
- disputes between an employer and a worker:
Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail - La conciliation à la CNESST : s’entendre à la suite d’un différend entre le travailleur et l’employeur;
- disputes concerning labour relations and occupational injuries:
Administrative Tribunal of Québec - Conciliation;
- challenges to a decision made by a government department, a public body (a board, commission, hospital, etc.) or a municipality:
Administrative Tribunal of Québec – What is conciliation?;
- disputes that arise curing the negotiation of a collective agreement or following a major change in a company:
Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale - L’aide à la négociation de conventions;
- disputes between a citizen and the police:
Commissaire à la déontologie policière - Conciliation;
When to use conciliation
You can use conciliation whether or not judicial proceedings for the dispute have been commenced.
In general, you must agree with the other party to use conciliation to settle your dispute.
However, conciliation may also be compulsory in certain situations, for example, if you have filed a complaint against:
- a police officer;
- a wildlife protection officer;
- a special constable;
- a highway controller;
- an investigator working for the Unité permanente anticorruption.
You can get more information on this topic from the Commissaire à la déontologie policière.
Location of conciliation sessions
Conciliation generally takes place in a public setting such as a courthouse or government office.
Conciliation organized by a court, administrative tribunal or government body is provided free or charge.
A conciliator is required:
- to act neutrally and impartially;
- to refrain from representing either you or the other party in the dispute;
- to ensure fairness and balance in discussions between you and the other party;
- to ensure that your rights are respected;
- to ensure compliance with the law;
- to facilitate communications between you and the other party;
- to refrain from imposing a decision.