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The Minister for Justice and Law Reform,Guest Posting Dermot Ahern, T.D., has introduced new High Court rules to promote mediation and conciliation in proceedings in the Superior Courts. The rules were introduced following provisional recommendations from the Law Reform Commission in its Consultation Paper on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

The Rules provide for a mechanism similar to the type used extensively in the Commercial Court whereby a judge can order the parties to engage in ADR. The provisions specify that the refusal or failure without good reason of a party to participate in mediation or conciliation may be taken into account by the court when awarding costs. The aim of this measure is to minimise the cost of the proceedings and to ensure that the time and other resources of the court are employed optimally.

The rules also complement the provision in section 32 of the Arbitration Act 2010 introduced by the Minister earlier this year which facilitates recourse to arbitration in disputes already the subject of litigation. mediation process

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