Conciliation conferences in the Land and Environment Court

Conciliation conferences are a tool frequently used by the Land and Environment Court – it’s important to know what you should expect from the process.

What is the point of a conciliation conference?

Conciliation conferences involve the use of an impartial conciliator (often a commissioner) to help the parties:

  • determine the issues in dispute;
  • come up with options and alternatives to resolve the issues; and
  • attempt to reach an agreement.

When will the Land and Environment Court require attendance at a conciliation conference?

The Land and Environment Court regularly makes orders for parties to attend conciliation conferences in matters that involve:

  • residential development appeals;
  • environmental planning and protection appeals;
  • tree disputes;
  • local government appeals;
  • strata scheme development proceedings;
  • valuation and compensation claims; and
  • Aboriginal land claim cases.

What is the role of the conciliator?

During a conciliation conference, the conciliator may provide advice to the parties and make suggestions in terms of settlement, but does not play a determinative role. Ultimately, it is up to the parties as to whether they reach an agreement during the conciliation conference.

What happens following a conciliation conference?

If the parties are able to reach an agreement, a written agreement will be prepared and the court proceedings will be discontinued.

If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the matter will go to a hearing (either on the same day, or at a later date).

If you have any questions about procedures in the Land and Environment Court please contact Alyce Kliese by clicking here.


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Alyce is a civil engineer and a practicing lawyer, who has a desire to share her insights on the legal and practical realities of the development industry.