Case management

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Case management is an area of practice within several healthcare professions. Most case managers are nurses or social workers.


The Case Management Society of America defines case management as:

"a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual's health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality cost-effective outcomes."[1]

Most nurse case managers work in hospitals or at health maintenance organizations.

Case Management and the regulation of mediation

Case management refers to systems in which court or tribunal officials assume closer administrative control over the litigation process than is traditionally associated with common law litigation. (Boulle, L. 2005). The Assisted Dispute Resolution program was introduced into the Federal Court in 1990. This was instigated after a number of cases failed to reach resolutions after several directional hearings. The parties had still not isolated the issues requiring determination. Judges could then refer the parties to a court registrar for mediation. The following section was introduced into the Federal Court of Australia Act in 1991:

‘Subject to the Rules of Court, the Court may, with the consent of the parties to proceedings in the Court, by order refer the proceedings, or any part of them or any matter arising out of them to a mediator or an arbitrator for mediation or arbitration as the case may be….’ Mediation as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method is designed to avoid resorting to formal court-based adjudication and is now also being applied to criminal matters. Traditional theories of criminal justice view the matter as one between the offender and the state. (Sarre, R. et al, p. 144, 2004).

It was not necessary to have the parties consent to the mediation process. The judge could direct the mediation. Case management was designed to identify and define issues in dispute and to reduce delays, costs and unnecessary pre-trial activities.

It is now becoming widely accepted and even institutionalised and promoted by governments, that ‘what was born of resistance and opposition to the formal justice system has been extensively integrated and co-opted into the system’. (Astor et al p.8 2006).


  1. Case Management Society of America. "Definition of Case Management". Retrieved 2007-01-13.

Astor, H & Chinkin, C. M. (2nd Edition, 2002). Dispute Resolution in Australia. Sydney Australia.. LexisNexis Butterworths

Boulle, L. (2005). Mediation: Principles Process Practice. 2nd Edition. Queensland, Australia. LexisNexis Butterworths.

Sarre, R. and Earle, K. (2004). Restorative Justice in Key Issues in Criminal Justice Sarre R, and Tomaino, J. (eds) Key Issues in Criminal Justice, Adelaide: Australian Humanities Press

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