THE Chief Justice has appealed to the Government to promote mediation as an alternative to costly court litigation. Mr Justice John Murray said such a move would generate social and economic savings. The Chief Justice speaking last night at the launch of the DSBA family lawyer mediation service, said that the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform could and should promote mediation for the benefit of society as a whole.

“It is governmental task” said Judge Murray, who also revealed that new rules were being considered that would enable Judges to facilitate mediation in all forms of civil disputes that come before the courts following the success of mediation in the Commercial Court and in competition law.

“It (mediation) is in a sense an antidote to a too casual recourse to litigation not only as a first but as the only option” he said. He also states that there may be a saving for society in legal costs and also reducing the burden of costly court systems. The Judge went on to say “for mediation as a process to take hold in this country there is a need to heighten public consciousness as well as that of legal practitioners and other professions of its usefulness its value and its availability” The DSBA has urged that the mediation, part of a broader alternative dispute resolution movement that has gained traction in the US, Canada and Europe and Britain, should be utilised in family law proceedings to maintain a positive parenting dynamic, post-separation.