Dispute Resolution – Mediation – May 2017
The Mediation Bill 2017 is currently making its way through the Oireachtas. The Government aims to promote mediation as an effective alternative to court proceedings with a view to resolving disputes more quickly and reducing legal costs. The bill obliges solicitors to advise their clients to consider using mediation to resolve disputes, to provide them with information about mediation services, and to point out to them the several advantages of mediation over court proceedings. If a court action nonetheless proceeds, a solicitor will be obliged to swear a Statutory Declaration confirming that he or she has provided such advice. Taking part in mediation will remain voluntary, and disputing parties can withdraw from it at any stage. The Bill also allows for a judge in a court action to invite the parties to consider mediation and to adjourn a case to facilitate mediation.