When I was in Maynooth, Ireland, in December 2017, (attending a negotiation course), one of the key topics the attendees were discussing (other than Brexit) was the Mediation Act 2017.

Ireland's Mediation Act 2017 was enacted on 2nd October 2017.  The Act contains provisions for a comprehensive statutory framework to promote the resolution of disputes through mediation as a viable, effective and efficient alternative to Court proceedings.  This is done in order to reduce legal costs, speed up the resolution of disputes and reduce the stress and acrimony which often accompanies Court proceedings.

The Mediation Act 2017:
  • introduces an obligation on solicitors and barristers to advise parties to disputes to consider using mediation as a means of resolving them;
  • provides that a Court may, on its own initiative, or on the initiative of the parties, invite the parties to consider mediation as a means of resolving the dispute;
  • contains general principles for the conduct of mediation by qualified mediators;
  • provides that communications between the parties during mediation shall be confidential;
  • provides for the possible future establishment of a Mediation Council to oversee development of the sector; and
  • provides for the introduction of codes of practice for the conduct of mediation by qualified mediators.