Mediators have welcomed the commencement of the Mediation Act as of 1 January 2018.
Sabine Walsh, president of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII), said 2018 promises to be “a significant year in the development and practice of mediation in Ireland as a result of the Mediation Act coming into force”.
Ms Walsh added: “The commencement of the Act is official recognition by the State of the contribution mediation will make to the improvement of dispute resolution systems in Ireland.
“The Act provides a statutory framework for delivery of mediation within the legal system. This framework will make the mediation process even more robust and reliable. As a result, parties involved in a dispute are more likely to opt for mediation before heading into court particularly as solicitors will now advise their clients to consider mediation.
“The Act will make mediation more available and deliver better resolutions, at a lower cost, to those who are involved in disputes. Parties who choose this process to resolve disputes have the benefit of engaging in a confidential process with the power to determine the best outcome for them. The Act also means that agreements achieved through mediation are now legally enforceable.”
She said that the MII would be working to “promote understanding and access to mediation throughout Ireland” over the course of 2018.