Alternative Dispute Resolution

2016/17 Annual Report

As a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS), the Law Society’s Council can approve applications for accreditation or re-accreditation. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee considers such applications and makes recommendations to the Law Society’s Council for that purpose.

In 2016/17 the Committee resolved to recommend to the Law Society’s Council that applications for accreditation and re-accreditation under the NMAS be on standard forms as settled by the Committee. These were approved by the Law Society’s Council and are now available on the Law Society’s website. Many thanks to Nicoletta Ciffolilli, who prepared the draft documents.

In addition, the Law Society maintains a panel of accredited arbitrators and mediators. While there is a significant discretion as to whether to approve an application for an arbitrator to be included in the panel, it would be an advantage to be accredited by recognised bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators or the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

The Committee received four applications for inclusion in the panel as arbitrators. While three of those had general arbitration qualifications, one was an accredited Family Law Arbitrator, since the panel is open to the inclusion of specialist arbitrators with suitable qualifications. It will be a matter for the President, if called upon to nominate an arbitrator, to consider the extent of the necessary qualifications required for the appointment.

The Committee also recommended the inclusion of three people for inclusion in the panel of mediators. The Committee would consider it desirable for applicants to have NMAS accreditation, although suitable accreditation to another standard equivalent would be considered.

The President of the Law Society spoke to the Convenor regarding the desirability of having more women on the panel if suitably qualified and also wrote to the Western Australian Bar Association drawing the matter to its attention. Subsequently, a female applicant for inclusion on both panels was recommended by the Committee for approval.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au