Primary Dispute Resolution

PDR is a term used in particular jurisdictions to describe dispute resolution processes which take place prior to, or instead of, determination by a court. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) ‘encourages people to use primary dispute resolution mechanisms (such as counselling, mediation, arbitration or other means of conciliation or reconciliation) to resolve matters in which a court order might otherwise be made’ (section 14). The Federal Magistrates Act 1999 defines primary dispute resolution processes as ‘procedures and services for the resolution of disputes otherwise than by way of the exercise of the judicial power of the Commonwealth, and includes: (a) counselling; and (b) mediation; and (c) arbitration; and (d) neutral evaluation; and (e) case appraisal; and (f) conciliation’ (section 21).