AlphabiolabsBerkeley Lifford Hall Accountancy ServicesIQ Legal Training

Report on Alternative Dispute Resolution published by Civil Justice Council

A working group of the Civil Justice Council (CJC) has published a report making recommendations for Alternative Dispute Resolution.

The report considers the efficacy of MIAMs but soes not support their introduction in civil cases more generally.

The Master of the Rolls, as Chairman of the CJC, Sir Terence Etherton, said:

"The group's recommendations include the use of a judicial-ADR liaison committee, increased public awareness of ADR, peer mediation in schools, increased law faculty and professional training and a new website to act as a single umbrella source for information about ADR.

"Work has already commenced on the creation of the judicial-ADR liaison committee, which will play an important oversight role in the area. The committee will report to me, as the Chair of the CJC and head of Civil Justice in England and Wales.

"The CJC fully endorsed the report at its last meeting."

The group's chair, William Wood QC said:

"These are not problems with single or simple answers. I am indebted to the working group for the time and effort that has gone into this report.

"We have done our best to set out what seem to us the most promising options for the future. We are particularly pleased that our proposal for continuing liaison between judges and ADR professionals is already being acted upon by the Master of the Rolls."

In considering the questions of quality assurance and regulation of mediators, the working group concludes that "the leads set by the Family Mediation Council must be followed as far as possible. The Family Mediation Council leverages its regulatory arrangements as a way of persuading the public and selling the mediation message to the community at large. These are opportunities which are currently being missed on the civil side of things."

The report notes:

"It appears Family mediators are prepared to pay the subscriptions which will fund the Family Mediation Council and its Standards Board because there is a throughput of regulated work in the form of MIAM meetings.  (It is fair to note that the FMC has also received significant government assistance in relation to the cost of the relevant software.)  The vicious circle on the civil side is that people are not receiving  sufficient instructions as mediators, they are not prepared in large numbers to subscribe and pay subscriptions to the Civil Mediation Council and consequently the CMC is severely constrained in the disciplinary and regulatory functions that it can provide."  

For the report, click here.