New Legislation Forces Attorneys to Advise Mediation

Countries all over the world are realising that mediation is a much better solution for divorce than litigation. Ireland is the latest to add their new legislation, obliging attorneys to suggest mediation to their clients before opting for litigation.


In order to cut legal costs and speed up the process of dispute resolution, the new Mediation Bill requires legal practitioners to give specific advice and information about available mediation services. The Irish Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, explains that the purpose of this legislation is to “promote mediation as a viable, effective and efficient alternative to court proceedings, thereby reducing legal costs, speeding up the resolution of disputes and relieving the stress and acrimony which as we know often accompanies court proceedings”.

Furthermore, attorneys have to make a statutory declaration to the court that they discharged their duty under the new legislation. The Bill also provides for the development of a mediation council if the respective bodies involved in mediation are able to come together and regulate the industry effectively.

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While divorce rates keep rising and courts are continuously overburdened all over the world, mediation has proved time and again to be a far better option in family divorce. It provides a safe environment for separating parties to communicate their needs, negotiate fair terms to the dissolution of their marriage and the opportunity to obtain the specific professional support required in their unique situation. Litigation on the other hand, only provides one standard set of legal proceedings to choose from.

Giving families correct and comprehensive information at the start of their divorce, enabling them to make their own choices about how they want to proceed, is honourable. Well done Ireland!


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Written by Sinta Ebersohn (Creator of – Stellenbosch RSA)