To have different points of view is an integral part of the human condition, where the ability to question and debate deep seated beliefs has been critical to human development. A dispute is simply as a disagreement or argument, as can happen in our daily lives, which in most instances can be resolved quickly.

Sometimes disputes escalate, particularly in trade and commerce, where it is not possible to submit every commercial dispute to the courts. It is not in the interests of healthy society to allow disputes to continue and be disruptive as a barrier to good relations. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) describes the range of processes that are available to resolve disputes without the necessity to refer to the courts. Each process involves an experienced and independent third party, such as Peter O’Malley, to assist parties in reaching a resolution to their dispute that is both expedient, economic, and appropriate to the nature of the dispute.

One of the benefits of ADR is that the parties in dispute have control over how they wish to seek resolution in a confidential manner. This is not the case in reference to the court. The court is a public forum where the timetable and process, will be determined by the court, usually at considerable cost and with an extended timescale. A further advantage of ADR is that the parties can choose the process that fits the character of the dispute, either in seeking a consensual or an imposed resolution, where the forum can fit the fuss.

“The quality of our lives depends not on whether or not we have conflicts, but on how we respond to them.”

Thomas Crum,


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the umbrella term that includes all dispute resolution processes, apart from litigation. As an alternative to the lengthy and costly process of litigation, ADR receives strong support from the courts. Every dispute is different in nature. The choice of ADR methods allows parties to choose the resolution process that best suits their needs, in either a consensual agreed decision or an imposed decision forum.

comparison of primary dispute methods

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provides a range of processes to suit the needs of the individual dispute. A consensual outcome is achieved when the parties agree a solution, sometimes with the assistance of an independent third party. A recommended outcome is arrived at when a third party investigates and then recommends a solution which the parties do not have to accept. The imposed outcome is the result of a third party deciding upon the dispute which is then binding upon the parties.

dispute resolution in ireland

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