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Bond University's new Legal Skills Centre officially opened.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.ag.gov.au/ag

28 June 2007 124/2007

BOND UNIVERSITY’S NEW LEGAL SKILLS CENTRE OFFICIALLY OPENED

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock officially opened a new Legal Skills Centre at Bond University today.

Mr Ruddock said the centre’s technology, mediation and dispute resolution resources support the direction legal practice is taking in Australia.

“These facilities showcase the forward vision of the law school and Bond University,” Mr Ruddock said.

“Communities everywhere are seeking commonsense and cost-effective approaches to laws that govern our lives.”

“The Australian Government’s policy is to reduce litigation where possible to develop a more conciliatory approach that encourages constructive engagement between parties.”

“Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms offer this - and I am particularly pleased at the emphasis given to alternative dispute resolution in the law courses taught here.”

“These alternative mechanisms are intended to relieve stress on the courts and to ensure parties are in a position to make an informed choice about whether to pursue litigation.”

Mr Ruddock outlined services that aim to give parents the assistance they need to reach agreements outside court, including flexible parenting plans to record agreed parenting arrangements and compulsory family dispute resolution for new parenting cases.

Mr Ruddock also took the opportunity to outline expansion to the role of the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council - increasing its focus on promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution.

Further information on family dispute resolution can be found at www.familyrelationships.gov.au

Me dia Contact: Sarah Stock 0419 278 715