Alternative Dispute Resolution covers a range of options available as alternatives to resolving a dispute in court.
These options include mediation, arbitration, expert determination, adjudication and conciliation.
Mediation is a private and confidential dispute resolution process in which an independent third party, the mediator, seeks to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.
It is a voluntary and non-binding process that only becomes binding on the parties if and when a settlement is reached. The process usually involves some level of briefing of the mediator before the mediation itself, which typically lasts a day. The mediation is attended by a 'decision maker' for each party and often by their legal advisors, relevant experts, and insurers.
The Mediation Act 2017, which came into force on 1 January 2018, provides a statutory framework to promote mediation as an alternative to court proceedings.
Arbitration is a means of dispute resolution whereby two disputing parties submit their dispute to a neutral third party for determination. Arbitration is often chosen by parties to commercial agreements as an alternative to litigation.
Arbitration in Ireland is governed by the Arbitration Act 2010. As with all forms of dispute resolution other than litigation, arbitration is entirely dependent on the agreement of the parties to adopt it.
The Society maintains a panel of individuals available to act as an arbitrator in disputes.
Find out more about ADR
For more information about alternative dispute resolution, see the 2018 ADR Guide.