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10 October 2016

Mediation a new legal horizon for consumers

Over 200 members of the legal profession attended a conference held in Belfast entitled Perspectives on Mediation - International and Local Views’.

The conference had been organised by the Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) in partnership with the Commonwealth Lawyers Association to showcase the increasing use of mediation in European and International jurisdictions as a means to resolve disputes.

Delegates attending the conference had an opportunity to hear from a panel of key note speakers who provided local and international perspectives on the growing use of mediation by Courts and clients in many jurisdictions.

Speaking at the conference were Sir Paul Girvan, former Lord Justice of Appeal and a High Court Judge reflected on the benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution services such as the DRS in providing a less stressful outcome to consumers.

Martin Brink, attorney and mediator with the Dutch Law Firm Van Benthem & Keulen, and substitute Judge in the The Hague Court of Appeals stressed the need for delegates to become new lawyers in response to the demands for mediation from consumers and courts.

Alexander Ward, President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association spoke of the increase in mediation throughout Commonwealth countries and its use as a positive way to resolve often intractable legal disputes.

Brian Speers, Chair of the Disputes Resolution Service in Northern Ireland said that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) remains central to the justice systems of many jurisdictions with mediation as one of the most popular forms of ADR. He commented further that those who find themselves in intractable legal situations now have an option to use the Dispute Resolution Service and its professionally trained mediators to help find a solution to their problems.

The Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) is a non-profit making service providing advice and information about mediation to businesses, education and health sectors, Government and the public.

Those wishing to know more about the service and mediation can do so by visiting