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NEW ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION DIRECTORATE WEBSITE – COMING SOON!
As part of our continued efforts to improve our service, we are launching a brand new NSW Courts and Tribunal Services website which will host general information about courts and tribunals and act as a hub to all other NSW courts and tribunals websites.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Directorate website will be incorporated into the NSW Courts and Tribunal website, and will be available on www.courts.lawlink.nsw.gov.au. All of the information which is available on the current Alternative Dispute Resolution Directorate website will still be available. In addition there will be a whole new section on Alternative Dispute Resolution as a faster, cheaper option to court for dispute resolution.

The new website will be available from 16th December and will also contain Courts and Tribunals information for the general public, jurors, students, researchers, media, legal professionals and litigants. It will be easy to navigate, provide comprehensive up-to-date information and will be structured to make finding information easier for each visitor.

We hope that you find it to be an enhanced source of information about the NSW Courts and Tribunals and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Directorate.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a term used to describe a variety of different processes, in which an impartial person helps people to resolve their disputes. The word ‘alternative’ is usually understood to mean that these processes are an alternative to having a decision made by a judge in court.

The Department of Attorney General and Justice (DAGJ) is taking steps to encourage the greater use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in NSW.
Read more about the different processes of ADR available in NSW.

ADR Blueprint

On 7 May 2009 the the ADR Blueprint Discussion Paper was released for public consultation. The ADR Blueprint contains 19 proposals to increase and better integrate ADR across the NSW civil justice system.The ADR Blueprint project is an important reform project, with significant implications for the way we resolve our civil disputes in the future... read more >>

Increasing ADR in child protection matters

The Department of Attorney General and Justice chaired an Expert Working Party responsible for reviewing and advising the NSW Government on preferred ADR models for use in child protection matters. The Expert Working Party was established by the Government after the Report on the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW (November 2008) recommended that ADR be used both prior to, and during, care proceedings in the Children’s Court. The Working Party delivered its report to the Government in December 2009, and all of its recommendations have since been accepted.

As a result, there are four models of ADR that have been implemented across the child protection continuum:

    1. A Family Group Conferencing pilot, to be trialled in two sites across NSW. Conferences will occur prior to the filing of a care application in the Children’s Court.

    2. A new model of Dispute Resolution Conference operating in the care jurisdiction of the NSW Children’s Court, to encourage the use of ADR during care proceedings. This program was launched in the Children’s Court on 7 February 2011.

    3. An external care and protection mediation pilot to operate for 100 care matters in the Bidura Children’s Court. The pilot is based on the Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution model, with mediations conducted by a skilled mediator, independent of the Children’s Court. The pilot was launched in the Children’s Court on 9 September 2010.

    4. Monitoring and evaluating the Nowra Care Circle Pilot, giving consideration to extending the model to other parts of NSW.


DAGJ expects that these models will improve the NSW child protection system by including and empowering children and families in decision-making; producing child protection decisions that are better informed and more responsive; fostering collaborative, rather than adversarial, relationships between Community Services and families; and leading to outcomes that are accepted by all parties and therefore more likely to be implemented.

All of the above four models will be subject to independent evaluations.


International Commercial Arbitration

Many of the world's leading international companies select arbitration rather than court proceedings to resolve commercial disputes. In the ADR Blueprint Discussion Paper released in April 2009, the ADR Directorate recommended the introduction of new commercial arbitration laws and the establishment of an international arbitration centre in Australia. The aim of these recommendations is to establish Sydney as a centre for international commercial arbitration.

NSW's new commercial arbitration legislation, which is based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, was passed on 22 June 2010. The Australian International Disputes Centre was established in 2010 with the assistance of the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

Media Releases

View press release 04/05/10 NSW leads the way forward on Commercial Arbitration Laws (PDF.)

View press release 03/08/10 Australia's first International Dispute Resolution Centre opens in Sydney (PDF.)

Promoting Sydney as a Centre for International Commercial Arbitration to South Korea

In January 2011, the then NSW Attorney General travelled to South Korea and met with law firms and businesses to promote Sydney as a hub for international arbitration in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

View Overseas Travel Register 02-02-02 Korea Trip - FINAL (Doc.)

View Overseas Travel Register 02-02-02 Korea Trip List of Attendees - FINAL (PDF.)


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Last updated: 8 December 2011
Lawlink NSW Attorney General's Department of NSW