The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators has watched with keen interest as the landscape of dispute resolution has changed on both sides of the border in Ireland. In many instances the context may be different, for example, construction, commercial or family disputes, but the constant and consistent theme of alternative dispute resolution remains as steadfast as ever.
In the last year alone the media has been awash with articles with headlines such as “See you out of court” or “mediation, mediation, mediation”, and it clear that the alternative dispute resolution message is finally getting through to even the most cynical minds.
So what has changed? The answer comes from a variety of sources ranging from enlightened advice, financial common sense, well drafted contracts, through to new legislative initiatives. The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators has watched as lip service has been paid to theory of alternative dispute resolution, but not the practice because it relied on disputing parties to try to resolve differences on a voluntary basis. Now however the rules are changing and slowly but surely a “legal requirement” or a court invitation to attempt to resolve disputes by way of alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation is fast becoming the rule rather than the exception.
In Northern Ireland this year the Cross Border Mediation (Regulations) Northern Ireland 2011 were passed into law in April. These Regulations implement Directive 2008/52/ECof the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters, which applies to cross border disputes.
Local companies and businesses engaged in cross-border trade should be familiar with the new Regulations as they may impact upon them in the event of a commercial dispute and thus a sound working knowledge of alternative dispute resolution techniques in a cross-border context becomes an invaluable asset.
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators is holding a one day conference on alternative dispute resolution in relation to cross border disputes from a variety of perspectives – commercial, employment, sport and so on, on 29th September in the Hilton Hotel Belfast. The conference will feature speakers including the Minister for Justice, industry specialists and members of the judiciary.
If you would like to attend please contact Jarlath Kearney CIArb Event Coordinator on 028 90 321 022 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com