Mediation Legislation

https://www.mediateireland.com/mediation-law-ireland/statutory-instruments/si-13-2018-rules-superior-court-mediation-2018

The Mediation Bill was published in 2017. The purpose of the Mediation Bill is to put a framework around resolving disputes using Mediation. Solicitors and barristers are now obliged to inform their clients of the advantages of mediation and then sign a statutory declaration stating that they have advised their clients that mediation is an option, should greatly increase Mediation as an option. The Mediation Bill 2017 covers almost all civil disputes.

The Act shall apply to any civil proceedings. There are some exceptions but generally speaking, mediation is applicable to most civil disputes.

Solicitors will have to advise clients to consider mediation

Mediator must provide parties with an agreement to mediate

Participation in mediation will be voluntary

Section 6

Participation to any mediation will be voluntary. Both parties are entitled to be accompanied by another person including their legal adviser who is not a party to the mediation or may withdraw from the mediation at any time.

Section 7

The proposed mediator and the parties concerned must be prepared and sign an “agreement to mediate” before the mediation can begin.

Confidentiality of the mediation process now enshrined in law

Section 10

Imposes a general confidentiality obligation on both the mediator and parties to the mediation process.

Mediation agreements can be enforced by the court

Section 11

Enforceability will be a matter for the parties themselves to determine if and when a mediation settlement has been reached between them. Subsection (3) provides that a court may enforce the terms of a mediation settlement subject to certain parameters.

Sections 14

Practicing solicitors are required to advise clients to consider mediation as an alternative to court proceedings. They must provide their clients with information on mediation services, including details of mediators, and the benefits of opting to choosing mediation. Where court proceedings are instituted on behalf of a client, the application must be accompanied by a statutory declaration made by the solicitor confirming that these obligations have been discharged in relation to the client and the proceedings to which the declaration relates.

Court can invite parties to consider mediation

Section 16

Provides that a court may, on application by a party to proceedings or of its own motion where appropriate to do so, invite the parties to consider mediation as a means of attempting to resolve the dispute before the court.

Costs can be awarded against parties who unreasonably refuse to attend mediation

section 21

The court may consider any unreasonable refusal by a party to consider using mediation when awarding costs in such proceedings.

 

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