1. It is a huge pleasure to be back in Dublin. If my memory serves me correctly, my last visit was to attend the Opening of the Legal Year on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, then Lord John Thomas, in 2017 or 2018, but I may easily have the year wrong. It is equally an honour and a pleasure to have been invited to speak outside the UK for the first time since the terrible pandemic eased.
2. I have been asked to speak about my views on “mediation in court systems including digital dispute resolution and the hot topic of mandatory mediation in the context of access to the national court system”. Since I became Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice in England and Wales in January 2021, I have been sounding off on this subject quite a bit. Indeed, in some ways, I have been doing so too successfully. Since I pointed out that alternative dispute resolution was in no sense “alternative”, but should be a mainstream part of the dispute resolution process, some Ministers in the UK’s Ministry of Justice have refused to use the term “ADR” moving, more accurately in my view, to the term “DR”.