Arts Law Information Sheet

Alternative Dispute Resolution - Mediation

Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR are processes to resolve disputes without going to court, including by mediation and expert determination. This information sheet discusses different types of ADR and how the Arts Law mediation service works.

In this information sheet:

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Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR refers to processes, other than judicial determination, in which an impartial person assists those in a dispute to resolve the issues between them. ADR can also be used to mean ‘assisted’ or ‘appropriate’ dispute resolution. Sometimes it is used to include approaches that enable parties to prevent or manage their own disputes without outside assistance.

The creative industries are no exception when it comes to disputes. Filmmakers can fall out leaving a film project unable to be completed. Artistic collaborations falter over creative differences or misunderstandings as to costs, processes, and responsibilities. Bands split up unable to agree on ownership of music or what direction to take. Writers may be in dispute with a publisher over royalties. Such disputes are often characterized by the importance of the personal relationships involved. People who work within the creative industries often need, or desire, to work together on projects in the future and don’t want that opportunity sabotaged by a dispute over the current project. Often the parties – or at least one of them - to the dispute can’t afford the expense of lawyers and going to Court.

Where the only options are walking away or litigation, permanent damage can be inflicted on relationships and creative projects are often permanently stalled or prevented from coming to fruition.

ADR can provide a relevant, cost effective, fair and timely means of resolving disputes in a manner which, to the extent possible, preserves the parties’ relationships and creates maximum opportunity for projects to be realised and completed. There are a number of different ADR processes including mediation, expert determination and non-binding evaluation. In this information sheet we discuss mediation. For information on other ADR processes see Arts Law’s information sheet Binding Expert Determination and Non-binding Expert Evaluation.

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The information in this information sheet is general. It does not constitute, and should be not relied on as, legal advice. The Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) recommends seeking advice from a qualified lawyer on the legal issues affecting you before acting on any legal matter.

While Arts Law tries to ensure that the content of this information sheet is accurate, adequate or complete, it does not represent or warrant its accuracy, adequacy or completeness. Arts Law is not responsible for any loss suffered as a result of or in relation to the use of this information sheet. To the extent permitted by law, Arts Law excludes any liability, including any liability for negligence, for any loss, including indirect or consequential damages arising from or in relation to the use of this information sheet.

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The Arts Law Centre of Australia has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Australian Government - Australia Council for the Arts