The Irish Branch of the world’s largest dispute resolution body, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators has given a warm welcome to the publication this week of the outline of the Mediation Bill. The Irish branch of CIArb has about 750 members qualified in all areas of dispute resolution, (including mediation, arbitration, conciliation and adjudication).
This follows the Law Reform Commission Report in 2010 and commitments in the Programme for Government to improving dispute resolution and reducing legal costs.
Pat Brady, Chairman of the Irish Branch of CIArb commented;
This is an important day for Irish business. It would be easy to underestimate the significance of the statutory underpinning of mediation as a means of resolving disputes throughout the economy, in family and employment matters also.
Professional mediators, such as our mediator members, deploy a range of skills and techniques which, in the vast majority of cases, aid parties in dispute to resolve their differences in a positive way, that not only keeps them out of the courts and away from crippling legal costs, but which can sometimes avoid the negative destruction of relationships. Many judges have spoken strongly in favour of mediation, not simply as an alternative to the legal system but increasingly as a vital part of it in achieving justice for those involved.
We welcome the provision for lawyers and the courts to encourage parties into mediation, (with a possibility of financial consequences if they do not).
The following are highlights in the proposed Bill:
- Solicitors and barristers must tell clients about the possibility of using mediation as an alternative to commencing court proceedings;
- Confidentiality is required in all communications between parties to mediation;
- Participation in and conclusion of mediation will be voluntary;
- A statutory basis for the courts to invite parties to consider mediation and to adjourn court proceedings for the duration of the process.
- A requirement that mediators advise parties of their qualifications.
Mr Brady especially welcomed the requirement that mediators have high level and specialised training and operate under a code of conduct.
‘CIArb accredited mediators are trained to an international standard and operate under the Institute’s Code of Conduct and its Charter, and we provide additional training in workplace mediation for example. We will be making a submission to the Oireachtas committee on Justice & Equality in due course on operational aspects of the Bill’
Further Info: Pat Brady 086 258 7940 firstname.lastname@example.org
CIArb 01 707 9739, email@example.com
Anne-Marie Blaney 087 60 2262. firstname.lastname@example.org