Privacy Policy

Who we are

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Suggested text: When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.


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Suggested text: If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select "Remember Me", your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Suggested text: Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Who we share your data with

Suggested text: If you request a password reset, your IP address will be included in the reset email.

How long we retain your data

Suggested text: If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

Suggested text: If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

Where we send your data

Suggested text: Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.


One of the hallmarks of mediation is that the process is strictly confidential. Two competing principles affect confidentiality. One principle encourages confidentiality to encourage people to participate, while the second principle states that all related facts should be available to courts.

The mediator must inform the parties of their responsibility for confidentiality.

Steps put in place during mediation to help ensure this privacy include:

All sessions take place behind closed doors.
Outsiders can observe proceedings only with both parties’ consent.
The meeting is not recorded.
Publicity is prohibited.
Confidentiality is a powerful and attractive feature of mediation. It lowers the risk to participants of disclosing information and emotions and encourages realism by eliminating the benefits of posturing. In general, information discussed in mediation cannot be used as evidence in the event that the matter proceeds to court, in accord with the mediation agreement and common law.

Few mediations succeed unless the parties can communicate fully and openly without fear of compromising a potential court case. The promise of confidentiality mitigates such concerns. Organisations often see confidentiality as a reason to use mediation in lieu of litigation, particularly in sensitive areas. This contrasts with the public nature of courts and other tribunals. However mediation need not be private and confidential. In some circumstances the parties agree to open the mediation in part or whole. Laws may limit confidentiality. For example, mediators must disclose allegations of physical or other abuse to authorities. The more parties in a mediation, the less likely that perfect confidentiality will be maintained. Some parties may even be required to give an account of the mediation to outside constituents or authorities.

Most countries respect mediator confidentiality.

9. Confidentiality

9.1 Save where the parties expressly agree in writing to the contrary, every person involved in the mediation, including the parties and their representatives, the mediator and AFSA undertake to keep confidential all documents, information and materials as well as all proposals and terms of any settlement in connection with the mediation, save and to the extent that a disclosure may be required by law or to enforce the settlement agreement. 

9.2 Every person involved in the mediation, including the parties and their representatives, the mediator and AFSA, acknowledge that any information, materials and settlement terms passing between them are produced solely for the purposes of the mediation and may not be produced as evidence or disclosed in a court, or any other formal or informal dispute resolution process, except as otherwise required by law. 

9.3 If a party discloses any information to the mediator in confidence during the mediation, the mediator shall not disclose this information to any other party or person without the specific consent of the party that disclosed it, unless the mediator is compelled to do so by law. 

9.4 The restrictions in sub-paragraphs 1 to 3 above shall not apply if and to the extent that:
–  the relevant party or parties consent to the disclosure;
–  the mediator is required in law to make the disclosure;
– the mediator reasonably considers that there is serious risk of significant harm to the life or safety of any person if the information in question is not disclosed.

9.5 The mediator, any employee of AFSA or any other person appointed in the mediation may not act or agree to act as a witness, expert, mediator or consultant in any legal proceedings related to the dispute, following the mediation.

9.6 The parties, including their representatives, shall not call or cause to be called the mediator, any employee of AFSA or any person appointed in the mediation, as a witness in any formal or informal dispute resolution process (including court proceedings) nor require them to produce in evidence any information, materials or settlement terms relating to the mediation.