Alternative dispute resolution (also known as appropriate dispute resolution)

A lawyer can be a person's first point of contact with the Australian justice system.  One traditional view of justice was that courts are ‘the central supplier of justice', particularly for disputes which cannot be resolved through direct lawyer-to-lawyer negotiation.  However, it is recognised that the justice system exists beyond the court system and incorporates ADR processes, schemes and systems.  This approach also reflects the reality that ADR is becoming less ‘alternative' and more mainstream in Australia.  Increasingly, people are seeking to resolve their disputes by using ADR.  Clients expect lawyers to know how to negotiate and also expect that they will understand the dispute resolution landscape (that exists beyond courts)....Regulatory provisions directly and indirectly require lawyers to advise clients on appropriate dispute resolution options other than litigation, including ADR...  A lawyer who does not understand how ADR processes work, and their benefits, may detract from the ability of their client to reach an appropriate resolution.  Both practising lawyers and ADR practitioners agree that lawyers can make a constructive and useful contribution to ADR processes.

Source: National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, Teaching Alternative Dispute Resolution in Australian Law Schools, © Commonwealth of Australia, Attorney-General's Department available from the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council website: (used under Creative Commons Licence CC BY 3.0) footnotes omitted.

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