Federal Attorney‑General, Robert McClelland, today welcomed the release of the ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Civil Justice System’ issues paper by the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (NADRAC).
The issues paper is an important step in getting the right strategies to remove the barriers and provide incentives to the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), rather than the courts, both before and after the commencement of civil proceedings.
“Access to justice is a critical issue and ADR is a key mechanism to deliver just that,” Mr McClelland said.
“The legal system must be able to provide a framework that allows people to resolve their legal disputes in a simple, fair and cost-effective manner.”
The issues paper examines options such as:
- increasing public awareness of ADR;
- changes to civil procedure, costs and fees to provide greater incentives to use ADR;
- mandating ADR prior to litigation;
- improving assessment and referral services; and
- using ADR techniques to improve court and tribunal hearings.
Mr McClelland encouraged stakeholders and interested parties to comment on the issues raised by the paper, including the use of ADR by the Government and its agencies, improving data collection and research, professional education and training and standard setting for ADR services.
The issues paper and submission details are available at www.nadrac.gov.au
Submissions are due by 15 May 2009 and NADRAC will report to the Attorney‑General by 30 September 2009.
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