Early Resolution

Conflict is all around us. From time to time, everyone gets into a dispute with someone else. It might be with a neighbour, a work colleague, a property manager, or a service provider. One thing is for sure, we all face conflict in our lives.

For some of us, it is important to win a dispute at all costs, and we risk damaging important relationships. Others avoid conflict altogether. But unresolved conflict tends to grow, and what may have started as a small problem can become a huge crisis.

Certain kinds of disputes are resolved by government boards, commissions, or agencies — known as tribunals. Instead of going to court, some complaint and disputes are handled by administrative tribunals (learn more: Tribunals vs Courts).

Tribunals deal with administrative law issues that may include things like the minimum wage, employment insurance, safety standards, the rates we pay for telephone service, or the rules about how doctors, lawyers or accountants must practice. By the time a dispute gets to a tribunal, people have often spent a lot of time, energy, and money on a situation that will not necessarily end up the way they had hoped.

The information and animated videos in this section will help you deal with disputes before they get to the point where a tribunal is required. This will make things a lot easier for you, and the outcome may be more satisfactory too. Whenver possible, it is better to resolve problems early, before they escalate into legal disputes. Plus, many tribunals will want to know what you did to try to settle the dispute yourself before coming to the tribunal.

A good place to start is to understand what your options are for resolving a dispute without going to a tribunal. See Choosing a Dispute Resolution Option. You may also want to learn more about what’s behind most disputes, which is explained in Understanding Disputes.

On the other hand, if you are already willing to try to talk with the other person involved in the dispute, read Preparing for a Tough Talk and Negotiating a Solution. These will provide you with tips for how to make the discussion go smoother.

If you are still unable to resolve your dispute after reading the resources in this section, you will need to learn more about taking your case to a tribunal. See Tribunals & Agencies to find the right tribunal for your issue and Preparing for a Hearing to find out what to do next.