Minimizing Legal Risk and Litigation Costs through Tatua Center

1.0 Introduction

1.1 What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

ADR is the procedure for settling disputes without litigation. It may or may not involve a third party. ADR methods include arbitration, mediation, negotiation and many others. ADR processes are informal unlike litigation that takes place in a formal court set up.

 

1.2 Role of ADR

ADR presents a wide range of dispute resolution options suitable for different types of disputes and has increasingly gained popularity in many jurisdictions. If properly applied, ADR can result in positive outcomes for disputing parties, in comparison to litigation which tends to be acrimonious, technical, long-winded, complicated, expensive and stress-inducing.

Goldberg, Green and Sander, global ADR experts, identify four separate goals of ADR:

    a) Relieves court congestion thereby creating efficiency in the delivery of justice.

    b) Enhances community involvement in the dispute resolution process.

    c) Facilitates access to justice.

    d) Provides more effective dispute resolution.

 

1.3 Importance of ADR

ADR procedures are considered to be less costly, more expeditious and collaborative since they allow disputing parties to better understand each other’s positions. ADR offers flexibility as parties are allowed to come up with more creative solutions than a court process can offer.

ADR is advocated on a variety of grounds such as the context of the case, the willingness of the parties and at times the discretion of the court. ADR is more cost-effective, expedient and offers more appropriate solutions that restore business relationships compared to litigation where the "winner takes all". 

 

1.4 Characteristics of an effective ADR system

  • Comprehensive: The ADR mechanism should be empowered to look at all elements of a dispute.

  • Independent: The mechanism should be independent and impartial 

  • Transparent: To achieve the right perception, its rules and operational structures should be clear to the consumers in order for them to have faith and confidence in the mechanism.

  • Prompt: The disputes should be dealt with in an efficient and expedient manner.

  • Accessibility: The system should be easily accessible to consumers and preferably free of charge to consumers.

  • Fair and reasonable: Outcomes should be based on what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.