Dispute Resolution; an opportunity to influence the next government?

Let’s get a discussion started on what measures the dispute resolution community, if I might call it that would like to see in the next Programme for Government.

Here is the text of what is in the Four Year National Recovery Plan (Page 33). This is in the somewhat limited context of bringing professional costs down. A broader focus on dispute resolution an all walks of Irish life might be a more positive approach

Action Points

Provide for a more structured approach to mediation in the legal system and promote further the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution taking into account recommendations of the Law Reform Commission in its Final Report 2010 on the subject.

A package of measures to reduce legal costs will be implemented, including

  •  increased use of tendering by the State;
  • prioritising publication and enactment of the Legal Costs Bill; and
  • additional proposals for legislation to reduce legal costs, drawing on the recommendations of the Legal Costs Working Group and the Competition Authority.
  •  Provide for increased use of arbitration and mediation.

As always, turning these fine words into reality will be a task in itself, but a first step will be to ensure that the parties which might make up the new government are also committed to them.

Also, it is a chance to look at dispute resolution in the employment law area. Kieran Mulvey says the LRC is inundated. It takes a year to get to the EAT.

I have some thoughts on these problems which I will return to shortly. Yours are more than welsome.