​Resolving legal disputes ​away from court


Issued: Friday, 16 December 2016

Attorney General Gabrielle Upton is encouraging the community to have a say on how to make it easier to resolve legal disputes without going to court.

"Mediation, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), can be a quick, cheap and confidential way to resolve disputes without the cost and inconvenience of attending court," Ms Upton said.

"We want people's views on how a standard model of mediation can make it easier for people to solve their legal fights without going to court.

"The Law Reform Commission has done a great job in developing a standard model of mediation. Now it is up to the community to have their say about how things can be streamlined to help fix a disagreement over money, a problem with a landlord or an unpaid invoice.

"With more people using ADR, it is important to make sure people are aware of the legal protection they need, and their legal rights, when they attend mediation."

The Law Reform Commission's consultation paper proposes to standardise ADR to clarify:

  • when things said or done in mediation are confidential and when they are admissible as evidence in court;
  • when a mediator is immune from legal action being taken against them as a result of something done during mediation;
  • at what point a mediation is finished, and
  • how to enforce a settlement reached by mediation.

The community, lawyers and mediators can have their say until 17 March 2017 by email to nsw_lrc@justice.nsw.gov.au or by post to GPO Box 31, Sydney NSW 2001.

The consultation paper, Dispute Resolution: Model Provisions, is available at http://www.lawreform.justice.nsw.gov.au.​