CJC has provided a mediation and conflict management service for the people of NSW since 1980. CJC was first established as a pilot program by the Community Justice Centres (Pilot Project) Act 1980 (NSW). The NSW Law Foundation reviewed the pilot program positively in 1982. CJC became a permanent service in 1983, with the passing of the Community Justice Centres Act 1983 (NSW). When established, CJC was heralded as 'the most promising step taken this century to provide a system for the settlement of a class of dispute which the adversary processes of our courts have never been able to resolve satisfactorily' (Hansard, Legislative Assembly, 26 November 1980, at 3147).
In 2002, CJC started the CJC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program as a pilot program. This program was also successful and expanded to southern NSW and Sydney.
In 2009, the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directorate was established in the Department of Police and Justice to co-ordinate, manage and drive ADR policy, strategy and growth across NSW. CJC now comes under the management of the ADR Directorate.
CJC is fully funded by the NSW Government. Since its inception, CJC has operated with consistently high rates of settlement and client satisfaction. CJC has even been enshrined in the Macquarie Dictionary!
The mediation and service model established by the NSW CJC was the first in Australia. Due to its success, many other Australian States and Territories have now adopted it and established similar services.