Centre opens for dispute resolution and mediation

Mon, Nov 5, 2012, 00:00

Over the past 10 years there has been a marked increase in the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes such as mediation, conciliation and arbitration in Ireland. As ADR has evolved there has been a corresponding need for the development of a purpose-built, dedicated and, most importantly, neutral venue for dispute resolution.

The Dublin Dispute Resolution Centre opened on November 1st in the Distillery Building on Church Street, in the vicinity of the Four Courts and in the heart of “the legal quarter”.

It is being run as a joint venture between the Bar Council and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

It is purpose-built and will operate as a “one-stop shop” for dispute resolution from the time initial contact is made with the centre to the conclusion of the process.

The centre caters for arbitrations, mediations, conciliations, adjudications and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, as well as ancillary activities such as meetings, seminars, conferences, disciplinary hearings and the taking of depositions.

The opening of the centre underpins the sustained efforts to promote Ireland as a venue for international arbitration. Arbitration is the preferred method worldwide of resolving international commercial disputes.

Ireland has many advantages as a seat for international arbitrations. It is neutral, English-speaking, has a common law legal system and the high quality of its judicial system is widely recognised. Since June 2010, Ireland also has modern legislation incorporating international best practice in arbitration.

A new body known as Arbitration Ireland was set up in to coincide with the passing of that legislation to promote international awareness of the advantages of Ireland a venue.

That body involves all of the different interested parties including the Law Society, Engineers Ireland, Chambers Ireland, the Bar Council and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, as well as all of the leading law firms and many of the leading arbitration practitioners in Ireland.

Arbitration Ireland has held road shows in venues such as New York, Washington, London and Paris in the past two years. These road shows and the general drive to make Ireland a venue for international arbitration have been strongly supported by the Government and assistance has also been given by Irish consular services, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA.

The very significant potential for Ireland in the sector is demonstrated by the resounding success of the recent International Bar Association Annual Conference in Dublin in early October, which was attended by nearly 5,000 delegates.

Previously, the Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration was attended by 800 of the world’s leading arbitration practitioners in Dublin in 2008. This international interest, Government support and the development of Ireland as a venue for ADR bodes well for the growth of this area in the future.