A former Minister For Justice, Equality and Law Reform Mr. Dermot Ahern, TD introduced provisions to consolidate Mediation in the Superior Courts. by introducing new Court Rules to promote Mediation and Conciliation in proceedings in the Superior Courts. The Rules were introduced following provisional recommendations from the Law Reform Commission in its Consultation Paper on alternative dispute resolution processes (ADRs).
The Rules provided for a mechanism, similar to the type used extensively in the Commerical Court ,whereby the Judge can order the parties to engage in ADR. The provisions specify that the refusal or failure without good reason of a party to participate in Mediation or Conciliation may be taken into account by the Court when awarding costs. The aim of this measure is to minimise the cost of the proceedings and to ensure that the time and other resources of the Court are employed optimally.
Announcing the move, the Minister said: "Mediation is increasingly recognised as a cost effective and timely means of resolving disputes. Parties are generally more satisfied with solutions that have been mutually agreed, rather than a solution imposed by a third party. Those who have reached agreement through Mediation are also generally more likely to follow through and comply with its terms.
I see real benefits to the parties involved and to the State in promoting the greater use of Mediation and other ADR systems within the Courts as an alternative to litigation in appropriate circumstances."
The Rules of the Superior Courts (Mediation and Conciliation) 2010 came into operation on 16 November 2010.
Mediation Forum - Ireland was Prescribed as a nominating body by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, under Regulations pursuant to the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (Section 15) Order 2005, which the Minister signed into operation as of the 31st March 2005. Mediation Forum-Ireland may nominate persons to act as Chairpersons of a Mediation Conference in personal injuries actions, where the parties themselves do not agree on a Chairperson.
The Post Graduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies (CDRS) at ISE- Trinity College Dublin tcd.ie/ise (founded in 2000) celebrates seventeen years of setting high standards in the practice of conflict and dispute resolution.