Taking ADR regional in 2017

The alternative dispute resolution forums of private mediation and arbitration for family law disputes are now widely available in south-east Queensland. “Alternative dispute resolution” is so entrenched in our legal culture it is uncommon for litigation to commence without first attempting mediation.

In all respects, it has become the primary dispute resolution method. And why not – the industry standard for family law mediations is at least 4 out of 5 matters settling.

But what about in regional areas?

We have heard some regional practitioners and judges complain about a lack of mediation resources contributing to longer delays for litigants or less satisfactory outcomes in regional areas. It's not that there isn't experienced local mediators – quite the contrary – but reduced availability due to court commitments or conflicts are increased in regional areas.

Are experienced private mediators servicing regional centres?
Is a lack of available resources / mediators driving litigants to court first in the hope of Registrar conducted Conciliation Conferences being held?
Is there a need for greater servicing by private mediators to regional areas?

ADR Chambers want to know and to help.
Tell us your thoughts.

We are looking at ways that we can bring our services to regional areas in a cost effective and available way. Some concepts we are looking at are;

  • Operating a mediation clinic over 3 or 4 consecutive days in some regional areas. The timing of these clinics would be “region” sensitive to work around circuit sittings and the like
  • The mediation clinic being serviced by 1 or 2 mediators from our panel (currently four experienced barrister mediators)
  • Set price for half day FDR /full day final parenting (after report) / property matters
  • Absorbing our travel and accommodation costs – we will be asking the regional practitioners to organize the venue/s

Eventually, we would like to expand this to arbitrations as well but for the time being, mediations are our focus. Grouping a number of mediations together over a 3 or 4 day period will take some management but will also ensure that we can offer our services at a cost effective rate.

 

Contact ADR at bruce@adrqueensland.com.au