Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Mediation in the courts

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Two recent news items have considered the use of mediation as a form of Alternative Dispute resolution. In the first, Jeremy Tagg an official in the Ministry of Justice, was presented with the Lord Slynn Mediation Prize for leading a drive to see more disputes settled out of court.

He was picked as winner for his role in the development of both the National Mediation Helpline (NMH) and the HMCS Small Claims Mediation Services (SCMS).

The SCMS has conducted more than 10,000 mediations in each of the past two years and continues to receive exceptionally high levels of customer satisfaction – 98 per cent of users say they are satisfied or very satisfied with the professionalism and helpfulness of the mediators and 95 per cent say they would use the service again

The second relates to statements recently made on the Today programme by Jonathan Djangoly, Justice Minister, urging greater use of mediation in Family disputes. Some family practitioners might take issue with his assertion that family lawyers are not sufficiently aware of mediation to resolve family disputes.

Nevertheless, it is still the case that there is a lack of awareness of the potential of mediation to resolve disputes and an assumption (at least by lawyers) that it is being promoted simply to reduce costs; there is considerable evidence, however, that mediation – when properly used – promotes better outcomes for parties.

Further details on both announcements can be found on the Ministry of Justice website

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Written by lwtmp

October 7, 2010 at 9:23 am

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