Friday, February 10, 2017

Upcoming Legislation - Week 6 2017

We have two pieces of upcoming legislation that I am very excited about. They are the Domestic Violence Bill and the Mediation Bill.

Domestic Violence Bill

  • This Bill represents a very important piece of legislation for our country. It is intolerable in this day and age that people are allowed to suffer mental and physical abuse. We need to take a firm stand against domestic violence, which is why this Bill is very welcome. 

  • This Bill will make it easier for those affected by domestic violence to find the protection they need. Let us not forget that women and children are disproportionately affected by violence in the home. 

  • Measures included in legislation include the provision of a new emergency barring order which can last for up to eight working days. There will also be changes to the current law allowing victims to avoid appearing in court in person and can giving evidence via video link instead. 

  • A further aspect of the Bill will make underage marriage a thing of the past.Fine Gael in Government is committed to the implementation of the Istanbul Convention on tackling Domestic Violence and the commitments contained in the recently published Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

Mediation Bill

  • The aim of the Bill is to promote mediation as an alternative to court proceedings, thereby reducing legal costs, speeding up the resolution of disputes and relieving the stress of court proceedings.

  • The Bill obliges legal advisors (lawyers and barristers) to inform their clients as to the availability of mediation.

  • Mediation can take place on agreement by both parties involved in a dispute.

  • Mediation is a much quicker pathway to resolving disputes thus significantly reducing the cost of legal fees (court proceedings are often lengthy)

  • Mediation is available to all and any parties willing to engage in the process.

  • Agreements on the outcome of mediation, once agreed upon by all parties and the mediator, will be put in writing and are legally binding.

  • The Mediation Bill makes provision for the future establishment of a self-financed Mediation Council which will be responsible for the regulation of mediation and mediators.

If you have any questions about these bills, you can contact me at Regina.Doherty@Oireachtas.ie

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