New law offers alternatives to dispute resolution, and can save litigants from engaging in long and potentially costly legal cases

26 September 2017

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has welcomed the passage of the Mediation Bill, 2017 through the Houses of the Oireachtas. The Bill, which is intended to speed up resolution of disputes; reduce legal costs associated with such disputes and reduce or avoid the stress involved in adversarial court proceedings, passed its final stages today in the Dáil. The Minister acknowledged the general support received from all sides of the Dáil and Seanad for the Bill.

Minister Flanagan said:

“I am delighted that the Mediation Bill has been passed.  I'd like to acknowledge the work of my predecessors in this area of policy.  This legislation seeks to promote mediation as a viable, effective and efficient alternative to court proceedings, thereby reducing legal costs, speeding up the resolution of disputes and relieving the stress and acrimony that often accompanies court proceedings.”

The Minister added, “I believe that enactment of this Bill will have an enormous beneficial effect in terms of promoting the use of mediation as an alternative to court proceedings.  The Bill has been broadly welcomed by the mediation sector and I thank them for their input.”

Ends

 

Notes for Editors:

 

The Mediation Bill (2017):

 

·           Introduces an obligation on solicitors and barristers to advise their clients to consider using mediation as a means of resolving disputes, and to provide their clients with details of mediation       services;

·           Provides that a court may, on its own initiative or on the initiative of the parties invite the parties to consider mediation as a means of resolving the dispute;

·           Contains general principles for the conduct of mediation by qualified mediators;

·           Provides that all communications (including oral communications) relating to a mediation shall be confidential;

·           Provides for the introduction of codes of practice for the conduct of mediation by mediators.

·           Provides for the possible future establishment of a Mediation Council to oversee development of the sector