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THOSE embroiled in legal action will now have to make all efforts to resolve disputes before heading to court, thanks to new workplace law introduced today.

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, has introduced legislation requiring people to take genuine steps to resolve their legal disputes before going to court in a bid to improve access to justice.

“Access to justice is not just about access to a court or a lawyer, it is about providing practical, affordable and easily understood information and options to help people prevent or resolve their disputes,” McClelland said.

The Civil Dispute Resolution Bill 2010 will require prospective litigants to lodge a statement with the court detailing what steps they have taken to resolve their dispute or, if they haven’t, the reasons why.

The statement will also provide additional information that the court can consider when making orders and directions under its existing case management and costs powers.

It’s About Resolution

According to the new legislation in workplace laws, genuine steps to resolve a dispute include exchanging information between parties to more clearly identify the issues in dispute, or considering possible resolution through mediation or conciliation.

Litigants can also send a notice of dispute outlining the issues and referencing relevant information, or agree to participate in negotiations when initiating legal proceedings.

“These requirements will promote a move away from the adversarial culture of litigation by encouraging parties and lawyers to consider early options for resolution outside the courts, before significant costs are incurred,” McClelland said today.

The Bill implements key recommendations of the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (NADRAC) and complements the active case management powers introduced in the Federal Court last year to promote the timely, inexpensive and efficient resolution of disputes, the Attorney said in a statement today.

The measures are in keeping with the federal government’s “Strategic Framework for Access to Justice” targeting better access to justice. The reason these measures are being introduced, is the out of control legal fees, that are beyond the reach of the average Australian. Allot of lawyers are trained to defeat the other side, not necessarily resolve matters in the first instance, its in their training, their DNA, nothing wrong with that if that, if that’s what’s required. However in workplace disputes, dismissals, workplace rights, its about resolution, getting back to work, or moving on.

Dispute resolution has been common place in other areas of the law, such as family law, for a long time now. It is unsurprising to see the new legislation implemented. We are highly experienced in this area and obtain the most optimal outcomes for the employees we represent. Contact us for a free consultation.

The idea is to get the outcome you want as soon as possible, avoid in many cases huge legal fees and get on with your life. Its not always that easy, but this must be the focus, the goal. There is a serious skill to resolution. Any body “can attack” the other side, but then will they settle is the question.

A Whole New Approach Pty Ltd, we are not lawyers, we are workplace advisors and have been representing employees in the Fair work Commission and other Human Rights Commissions for a long time. We are committed to resolution by mediation, and dispute resolution. Give us a call, discuss your workplace issues with us, its free. Unfair dismissals, general protections, constructive dismissal, whatever enquiries welcome. 1800 333 666, call now

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