LRC's Consultation Paper on Alternative Dispute Resolution

The MII has submitted a detailed response to the the LRC's Consultation Paper on Alternative Dispute Resolution which forms part of the Commission’s Third Programme of Law Reform 2008-2014. Under this Programme, the Commission is committed to examining the main processes of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and associated key principles and to exploring options for their reform.

The Consultation Paper focuses on three main areas:

  1. The terminology associated with ADR, in particular the need for a consistent definition of mediation and conciliation, and the underlying general principles concerning ADR processes.
  2. The application of ADR in specific areas, including family law disputes, commercial disputes and property disputes.
  3. The training and regulation of ADR professionals. The Commission regards this as a vital aspect of ensuring the quality of justice likely to be achieved through ADR.

...and makes 50 provisional recommendations on ADR, in particular on mediation and conciliation including:

  • There should be a general statutory framework that defines clearly what is meant by mediation (mainly facilitating agreement) and conciliation (facilitating agreement and sometimes also advising the parties about an agreed resolution);
  • Mediation and conciliation should be seen as very different from litigation but should also be considered as part of a fully integrated civil justice system that includes litigation. Each process plays its appropriate role in meeting the needs of the parties involved and fundamental principles of justice;
  • The key principles of mediation and conciliation should be set out, including their voluntary nature, the ability of the parties to control the process, the need for confidentiality, and the need for transparency and quality control of the process;
  • A court should be able to enforce an agreement made at mediation or conciliation;
  • The training and accreditation of mediators should be based on agreed international standards, building on existing accreditation structures already in place in Ireland.

For further information see:

LRC Press Release

LRC Full Paper