Within the Australian Legal system, there is a growing trend towards using alternative methods of dispute resolution (ADR) to settle disputes, rather than litigation. In this respect, ADR may be a more effective means of settling your dispute. ADR can be broken up into the following forms:

  • Negotiation: before or after commencing litigation, you can discuss resolutions with the other party; a lawyer can help you do this. When successful, this process can quickly resolve disputes without having to resort to expensive and lengthy litigation.
  • Mediation: a structured negotiation involving a third party, known as the “mediator”. The mediator helps parties talk and resolve their dispute. The mediator does not take an active role in discussion, but guides discussion, and attempts to lower hostility.
  • Conciliation: is where a third party, known as the “conciliator”, identifies the issues in dispute and looks for ways to resolve them. This format is similar to mediation however the conciliator takes an active role by offering solutions to problems.
  • Arbitration: an “arbitrator” acts like a judge, they hear the evidence and make a decision. Unlike other forms of ADR this process is a lot more definite, with decisions becoming binding upon the parties, and in some cases, appealable to higher courts.
  • Expert appraisal: an independent person who has expertise in the subject area of the dispute enquires into the problem and provides their views to the parties.

In some cases, court proceedings may not be an ideal format to pursue a resolution to your pursuit and may result in significant costs. 

Before pursuing litigation, it is important to discuss with a solicitor what options for dispute resolution are available to you. If you have concerns about a potential pursuit, contact Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers.