1. The Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (ADRAC) is an autonomous Council which:
(a) Undertakes inquiry, thought and the provision of information on managing and resolving disputes, with an emphasis on alternative/assisted dispute resolution (ADR);
(b) Promotes knowledge, understanding and use of ADR mechanisms, principles and values;
(c) Plays a leading role in the development and promotion of appropriate methods of resolving and managing disputes, including through the use of ADR mechanisms, principles and values;
(d) Monitors ADR-related developments and techniques nationally and internationally;
(e) Works cooperatively with other organisations with similar objects.
2. Specific objects of ADRAC include:
(a) To identify and comment upon trends, challenges and developments in dispute resolution procedures and processes;
(b) To facilitate exchange of experience and expertise to ensure that contemporary trends and developments in dispute resolution, nationally and internationally, are considered and, where applicable, promoted;
(c) To encourage enactment of laws which facilitate development of, and access to, appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms, including ADR (within and beyond traditional procedures such as proceedings before courts and tribunals);
(d) To promote supportive relationships with those engaged in litigation and other established forms of dispute resolution, whether as decision-makers, administrators, practitioners, or disputants (or in some other capacity);
(e) To support and encourage seminars or similar events which promote the work of ADRAC;
(f) To establish and maintain relations with other organisations having similar objects;
(g) To liaise with and make recommendations to government concerning dispute resolution generally, and ADR in particular;
(h) To engage in other functions which are conducive to achievement of the above objects.
PRINCIPLES AND VALUES
3. ADRAC conducts its work by reference to the following general principles and values:
(a) Conflict is a usual by-product of human interaction;
(b) Unresolved disputes can be corrosive and unproductive;
(c) It is generally preferable for disputes to be resolved, where possible, in the simplest and most cost-effective way;
(d) Personal responsibility for resolving disputes, including by making informed choices about appropriate ways to resolve a dispute, is fundamental to dispute resolution;
(e) Access to courts and tribunals to resolve disputes is a fundamental aspect of the rule of law in a representative democracy;
(f) Other means of resolving disputes, including ADR, should be considered where appropriate;
(g) Public confidence in particular forms of dispute resolution, including ADR and proceedings before courts and tribunals, is promoted by recognition of the value of good faith participation, proportionality, fairness, quality and accessibility.
SCOPE OF ACTIVITES AND AREAS OF INTEREST
4. The issues and activities which ADRAC may inquire into, examine, and/or undertake shall include:
(a) The nature, characteristics and definition of dispute;
(b) Dispute pre-emption;
(c) First response to dispute;
(d) Provision of information about the nature, prevention, management and resolution of disputes;
(e) The continuing development of a profession of trained dispute resolution practitioners;
(f) Assessment of the suitability of dispute resolution processes for particular groups and for particular types of dispute, including dispute resolution in the context of criminal offences (such as restorative justice);
(g) Programs to enhance community and stakeholder knowledge and use of dispute resolution services, especially ADR;
(h) Data collection concerning dispute resolution, including ADR;
(i) Attendance at, and participation in, forums, conferences and meetings;
(j) Facilitation or encouragement of dispute resolution research;
(k) Funding activities which are consistent with ADRAC’s objects, and which shall only be undertaken to facilitate achievement of those objects.
5. ADRAC shall not itself provide dispute resolution services.
6. In performing its functions, ADRAC will consult appropriately with dispute resolution organisations, service providers and practitioners, users, courts and tribunals, governments, professions, educational institutions, business industry and consumer groups, community organisations and other bodies or persons.
7. ADRAC will publish on its website a report of its operations as soon as possible after 30 June each year.