In the last edition of the newsletter, we mentioned the introduction of new procedural rules which promoted the use of mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution and the impending transposition in Ireland of EC Directive 2008/52/EC (the “Directive”) on certain aspects of mediation and civil and commercial matters. This Directive has now been transposed in the form of the EC (Mediation) Regulations 2011 (the “Regulations”).
Under the Regulations, a court may, on application or by its own motion, adjourn proceedings and invite the parties to use mediation as a means of settling their dispute. However, the Regulations are confined to cross border disputes to which the Directive applies. The Minister did not exercise his discretion to extend the scope of the Regulations to cover domestic disputes, as had been recommended by the Law Reform Commission’s recently published report on Alternative Dispute Resolution. Nonetheless, the Regulations represent a positive step in the promotion of mediation, by facilitating a uniform practice of mediation practice among EU Member States.