The is normally appointed by the government,

 

            The
Irish Legal System is proven to be like none other in the world. There are a
few primary forums regarding this extensive legal system, and they each have
different roles in the resolution of a said dispute. Rather than using the
Court, these resolution forums are much easier to work with, and in many cases,
can aid in solving issues between two or more parties in a much faster manner
than taking it through the Court. Though it will be touched upon in greater
depth to come, there are a few primary forums that are normally discussed when
it comes to the resolution of a particular dispute between parties. They are;
Ombudsman, Regulators, Trade Associations/Professional Bodies, and
Commissions/Commissioners. By using them, with each of them playing a different
role in these resolutions, parties will be able to much more easily be able to
solve a resolution than by using the Court.

          Beginning with the first being the
Ombudsman, they essentially are a public advocate who is in charge of
representing the interests of the public, rather than private parties. They are
normally in charge with not only addressing certain claims and complaints, but
also investigating them to find out the validity of the claim that has been
made. This position is normally appointed by the government, or by parliament
at the very least. They, unknown to some people, have a lot of independence
with what they do. They normally resolve issues through the use of mediations
or recommendations, as there are a lot of cases where not enough proof can be
provided. In Ireland in particular, the Office of the Ombudsman was set up
under what were known as the Ombudsman Act 1980. This forum is often used for
relatively smaller issues in the public, not the more pressing issues that
would be taken to the Court.

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          Another such forum that is used as a
resolution for common disputes is the Trade Associations/Professional Bodies.
In the UK alone, there are more than 1600 trade associations. These trade
associations are usually not only funded, but also founded by businesses that
operate in very specific industries. Essentially, the main focus of trade
associations is to work on collaboration between different companies, and solve
any issues that may arise between them. For example, if there is an issue with
two businesses in the same industry over a kind of trade, the trade
associations are going to be there to help resolve the issue. Many of these
trade associations are non-profits which are directed by officers who are
members as well.

          Lastly, there is what is known as the
Commission – in particular, the European Commission. This is also known as the
EC, which is primarily responsible for the proposing of legislations. They were
founded back in 1958, and are a part of the executive cabinet. This is a bit
more official than some of the other forums of dispute, and they operate as a
part of the cabinet for the government. Their goal it to represent the general
interest of the EU. This means that a single person is not going to take their
issue to the EC without it being a matter that affects much of the EU or
Ireland. Essentially, this means that two parties with a small issue are not
going to take it to the Commission to have their problem solved by any means.

          Looking at the three in terms of how
they handle issues, and also the types of issues they are able to handle is
also both helpful and a necessity. Looking first at issues brought about to the
Ombudsman, these are issues that regular people may be dealing with. For
example, if someone were to have trespassed on someone else’s property, this
may be taken to the Ombudsman (Garlettes 1998.) They will then look into any
information that they have, and use recommendations and references from other
people to get a gauge on who they think should be penalized. After they decide
who will receive the penalty, they will order the other party to some sort of
action, be it a restraining order of some type, or possibly even a small fine.
They cannot sentence someone to go to jail, as this is not the place for a
crime of that nature to be solved.

          Looking next at the Trade Association,
this is normally going to be two businesses in similar industries having issues
with each other. Perhaps one business claims to have never received parts that
the other business was supposed to have shipped to them. Business A, who has
not yet received the parts, takes it to the Trade Association having claimed to
have paid for them, yet not received them. The Trade Association will look into
the issue in a similar manner that the Ombudsman would, using other businesses
and their trustworthiness as indicators of whom they should be believing (May,
1988.) Furthermore, they are able to look at other details, such as possible
shipping dates, etc., as ways to determine who is telling the truth. They can
then, based on what they find, order a business to pay up, truly sent the
parts, or whatever it may be. If the business still decides not to do so, and
what they did was illegal, it can then be taken to a higher court. This
normally does not happen though, because the business that is found “guilty”
does not want to lose their reputation over a simple mistake.

          Lastly, there is the Commissions. In
this case, it is the European Commissions, who has a representative from
Ireland as well. These issues are normally more pressing to all of the EU, and
the representatives from each country can bring issues about their particular
country to the table. For example, if there is a financial crisis in Ireland
and the other EC representatives feel that they can help, this may be an issue
taken to the EC. On another side, though, if the EC finds a country like
Ireland guilty of some crime, they can also charge and penalize Ireland (or any
country that is convicted) to some sort of fine, be it money or anything of the
sort.

          A forum that is no longer in use is
the Financial Regulator, though they were disbanded in 2010. Open for only
seven years, they focused mainly on solving financial issues for people or
organizations who were going through financial problems. It is now known as the
Central Bank of Ireland, and now handles the majority of the money issues for
the country as a whole.

          In recent years, the Ombudsman in
Ireland particularly have seen a lot of positive changes. In 2012, there was
what was known as the Ombudsman Amendment Act of 2012 which brought essentially
200 new public figures under the scrutiny of the Ombudsman. Furthermore, this
act also helped in the designation of the Ombudsman as the Chief Executive of
the Office of the Commission for Public Service. In later years, such as 2013,
2014, and 2015, other acts were passed as well (EurWORK.) In 2013, there was a
reform in the Department of Public Expenditure. Then in 2014, the Protected
Disclosures Act was passed, along with the Freedom of Information Act. In 2015,
one bill and one act was passed, being the Registration of Lobbyists Act, and
then the Public Sector Standards Bill. Essentially, this shows that the
Ombudsman in Ireland especially has made a lot of progress in recent years, and
is now becoming much more official throughout the country. They may be able to
handle more pressing issues, and simply more issues and problems overall.

          The main advantage of using the
Ombudsman as a person who is looking to have their issue resolved as opposed to
the other forums mentioned is that they are more geared towards helping
individuals out rather than helping out groups, or even the country as a whole.
Their main goal is to resolve issues between two small parties with issues that
are not extremely pressing by any means. By taking it here as opposed to the
court, people will normally be able to see results much faster. If they are to
take a smaller issue to a traditional court, they are likely to have to wait
for the more important cases to be taken care of first. At the Ombudsman, there
are not more pressing cases that require more attention, meaning if the case is
accepted, it is going to be dealt with in a much timelier fashion than taking
it to the traditional court. Lastly, the advantage here is that more effort seems
be put into solving the issue, as they are going to look for information
surrounding the case in an attempt to solve it, rather than simply sitting in
court and waiting for someone else to solve the case for them.

          Overall, all of the forums are efficient
for different needs. In terms of all of Ireland, the most useful tool for them
is of course going to be the EC. For businesses in particular, they are going
to be more looking at the Trade Associations, or possibly the Regulator if it
had to do mainly with money. For regular civil cases, though, they are going to
be normally using the Ombudsman as a means of solving the issue in a timely
manner.

 

 

 

Bibliography

EurWORK
European Observatory of Working Life. Retrieved January 18, 2018, from
https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/observatories/eurwork/comparative-information/national-contributions/ireland/ireland-individual-disputes-at-the-workplace-alternative-disputes-resolution

Garrelts,
Frank: Märkte im Umbruch – Kooperationen als Chance im Handel (Markets on the
move – trade associations as a business opportunity), München: Beck 1998, ISBN
3-406-43993-4. Retrieved January 18, 2018.

May,
Clifford D. (August 3, 1988). “Washington Talk: Associations; Possum to
Phlebotomy, They’re All Spoken For”. New York Times. Retrieved January 18,
2018.