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Mediation Forum Ireland

ADR Resources : Conciliation in Action : Making Mediation Work

What is it all about ?


The need for effective conflict management and dispute resolution policies and skills is as urgent in the workplace, business to business, business to customer as it is in the boardrooms of large corporations, institutions and other organisations where valuable on-going productive relationships will benefit from resolving disputes in a non-adversarial and private process in a timely manner. Mediation Forum - Ireland provides discreet advisory services in in relation to :

Communication Skills.

Conflict management processes.

Facilitation in multi-party disputes.

Bespoke Complaint-Handling, Dispute Resolution  Processes, Redress and Grievance Proceedures.



Ombudsman Oversight, Intervention,  Processes and Principles.

Governance matters

We povide confidential coaching, facilitation and information sessions on Mediation when guidance or intervention is required.

Where did it al begin?
By advancing the development of Alternative Dispute processes (ADRs) through her academic platform, and by conscientiously applying those disciplines to her everyday practice as an Ombudsman, Paulyn Marrinan Quinn has managed to evolve non-adversarial systems that deliver just solutions in a pragmatic and economic way.  In so doing, she has carved a name for herself as a pioneer and  innovator

Belfast-born, London-raised, long-time Dublin resident and Senior Counsel on both islands, Paulyn gained her reputation as a champion for citizens and human rights through her spearheading efforts to provide, for those in conflict or dispute, a more expeditious and less arduous route to justice than that which, up to then, had only been available, at comparatively vast expense, and at a notoriously slow pace, via the traditional adversarial legal system.

As the first Insurance Ombudsman of Ireland (1992 – 1998) Paulyn’s Office provided a fresh and long-needed option, for those in dispute with their insurance providers, to avoid the daunting prospect of a bruising and potentially ruinous encounter that a lengthy Court case could entail.  She was a founding Member of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association (BIOA-1994); and served on the sub-committee to establish standards of best practice for Offices of Ombudsman.

In 2000,with a view to establishing A Centre of Excellence to study and practice the subject, Paulyn founded a Post Graduate Programme: ‘Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies’ in the ISE - Trinity College, Dublin University. She served as Director of that programme for ten years; and now contributes as Adjunct Associate Professor in Mediation and ADR Studies.

In 2005, Paulyn was appointed by the President of Ireland as the founding Ombudsman for the Defence Forces.  Her growing interest in human rights has led to her work with the Geneva-based Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) assisting in capacity-building for States addressing the issue of civilian oversight of Military administrative matters and human rights. She was also a member of the Expert Group convened by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to write the ‘Handbook on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel’, which she was invited to launch in 2008.
Since leaving Office in 2012, Paulyn Marrinan Quinn has been invited by these International Bodies to contribute to Conferences,lead capacity buiding workshops and act in an advisory and guidance role to  advance best practice in the establishent of effective independent Offices of civilian oversight of military administrative matters.

Among her Irish roles, Paulyn was appointed to the inaugural Board of the Irish Financial Services Appeal Tribunal (IFSAT )and has worked on a number of boards including the Executive Committee and Board Audit Committee of the Irish Aid Agency, Trocaire.

Further background information


Paulyn has worked in the area of ADRs since the 1990s. To develop standards of best practice and a centre of excellence in this field of work, she founded a Post Graduate programme in Trinity in 2000: Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies – which she directed for ten years. From this pioneering programmme grew Mediation Forum - Ireland one of the largest panels of skilled dispute resolution practitioners and  Mediators. MFI is a Body prescribed by Ministerial Regulations under the Courts Act 2004 to nominate Mediators.

Paulyn has lectured and trained in this area extensively at home and abroad. She was invited by the Department of Constitutional Affairs in the UK to address members of the Judiciary on Commercial Mediation in 2003 when they were introducing Court annexed Mediation services. As a member of the Bar Council of Ireland's ADR and Arbitration Committee, she organised and lead Accredited Mediation training for members of the Irish Bar in 2004 and 2005. Among the varied professional groups she has trained are the Western Circuit of the Bar of England and Wales and the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland. She has also advised in relation to the creation of bespoke ADR, Arbitration, Dispute Resolution and Mediation Schemes.

As a founding member of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association at the time of its inception, in 1994, and the Irish member of the Standards of Best Practice Sub-Committee which was charged with drawing up standards of best practice applicable to a wide range of public and private sector Ombudsman offices throughout the UK and Ireland to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of such Offices, she was engaged in assessing service standards and quality benchmarks and service indicators.

During this time, she became keenly aware that whereas there were many University  and other Centres of research and study in relation to the emerging processes of ADRs, throughout the U.K and other European countries, as well as Canada, the U.S. and beyond, Ireland, on the other hand, had emerged from its experience in the 1980s of mediation services in marital breakdown cases with a less than a positive perception of the effectiveness of the concept. Paulyn set about enhancing the standing and practice of ADR processes by establishing the Post Graduate Diploma in Trinity in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies (CDRS) where the bar was set high to found a Centre of Excellence in this field.

I have been actively involved, on many levels, in the promotion and development of Civil and Commercial Mediation in this country as well as participating in the U.K. where my advice and contribution has been sought. I was invited to attend the inaugural meeting in London of the Civil Mediation Council (CMC) in 2002, of which I am now a member. The CMC is a body of service providers of mediation in the U.K. which focuses on, among other things, ethical matters and developments in relation to standards of accreditation and qualifications for practitioners in that jurisdiction.

These issues connected with the work in the CDRS programme in Trinity where some research and study topics are concerned with monitoring and maintaining ethical and practice standards - areas in which I have had a special interest over many years.

I was invited to sit on a 'think - tank' in the 1990's by the then Lord Chancellor's Office (LDC) in London when they were conducting a 'root and branch' review of administrative justice in light of the {then} 'Woolf Reforms' which were later to be enshrined in the new Civil Procedure Rules (CPRs) which aimed at simplifying Court procedures and incorporated ADR giving rise, in 1999, to the inclusion of Civil Mediation in the realm of access to justice policies and processes..

The Department for Constitutional Affairs (formerly the LCD), in the U.K. held a conference for the Judiciary in October 2003, on Civil Mediation in light of their plans to launch Court annexed mediation schemes in the County Courts in England and Wales. I was invited to make a presentation to the conference on the merits of Commercial Mediation. It was interesting to note that the Judges attended with their clerks and administrative teams as they properly recognized the need for such advances to be incorporated into the case management system as a whole.

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