Previous Articles & News
Items which have previously appeared in our News section:
Malham Summer School 2016
This years' Summer School will take place at High Trenhouse between the 3rd and 4th June 2016 with a Thursday option. This year’s guest will once again be David Richbell supported by Jane Gunn. As at 5th May, there are 7 places still available.
ANM launches no cost mediation service in Manchester
On 28th January 2016 Michael Swift and Fiona Green from ANM took part in the first ever Street Advice Session. This was a collaboration with Citizens Advice, the Local Council and local businesses to provide a free advice drop in session for the residents of Wythenshawe. It is hoped that Street Advice will run monthly from April. ANM offers a free mediation service (application forms are here) and many of our members volunteer as community mediators.
Mastery In Mediation
Aled Davies' webinar "Mastery in Mediation" is now available in the members' section.
Another triumphant Summer School
This years' 15th summer school took place in Malham Tarn and was described by one participant as the best course he has been on in 46 years in the law. Well – that does take some beating.
Mark De Lisser and Jane Gunn took us all through all aspects of vocal tonality from exercising and relaxing the facial muscles to singing in unison taking many of us well outside our comfort zone.
It was a brilliant bonding experience that gave us all a much better understanding of the importance of how we look and sound to those we meet in our mediations. Honing in on our self awareness and building up our self confidence are very important, just as encouraging all those in involved in conflict to find their voice and tell their story hugely adds to the success of mediation.
‘W ANM’ says Carlo after Malham 2014
Guests Carlo Mosca from Italy and Jane Gunn gave 20 members of ANM and friends a testing time at this year’s summer school in June breaching the comfort zones of even the most experienced mediators. We were joined by Chis Fitton chair of Midlands Mediators, Robin Bramley founder of Consensus Mediation and Marine mediator Jonathan Lux from London. It was also great to see David Richbell support us once again. After 13 years of running the summer school his comments from the pews rather than the pulpit were really helpful. Once again the event proved that these 2 days remain the most fulfilling event in the calendar – that is in anybody’s calendar. In the meantime Carlo plays tennis in Treviso with added gusto now he has the right attire. Eat your heart out Wimbledon!
Workplace Mediation Training March 2014
Workplace Mediation is a recognised and recommended cost effective option for conflict resolution. ACAS’ most recent guidelines to employers recommend mediation or a conciliation service before engaging in employment tribunals.
Yorkshire Mediation Services (YMS) is offering an Open College Network (OCN) level 3 certificate in Workplace Mediation Skills. On successful completion of the course, participants will have the interpersonal skills and confidence to enable them to effectively mediate issues relating to workforce interactions and dynamics, both within their own workplace and as an independent mediator.
The interactive course combines both the theoretical and practical elements of workplace mediation plus best practice of Yorkshire Mediation Services. Our Trainers have several years practical experience of bringing complex and sensitive cases to a resolution, resulting in agreements being reached in 100% of cases in the past five years.
The course costs £1,200 per person which includes all registration and certification costs, lunch and refreshments as well as all training materials.
In-house training and supervision
The course can also be provided on an in-house basis for up to 12 participants. We are also able to offer ongoing supervision both as part of a group or on a one-to-one basis. Please ask us for details and prices.
Dates: 26, 27, 28 March and 1, 2, 3 April 2014
For more information, contact Trish Groves on 0113 242 4110 or email Trish Groves
Mediation and Planning
We held a Property Group meeting in Weightmans Manchester on the 14th November with barrister John Pugh Smith. We all know that the planning process is extremely complex, and one would have thought that mediation is a good option here for planning appeals and enquiries. If anyone had bags of experience then John had it. He was intimately involved in the National Planning Forum’s guide to using mediation published in 2011 www.natplanforum.org.uk . He stressed that mediation wouldn’t remove the statutory code for transparent decision making; but it would respect very much the representative roles of elected officials and gives all the many stakeholders in the process the ability to be very much involved in the confidential non confrontational discussions that take place in mediations. The flexibility of mediations would save enormous time and cost as issues are identified earlier and interest groups co-ordinated. Recent examples of mediations included a residential development where the LPA, the land owner resulting in the amendment to the area action plan, another residential plan where the village residents were very much involved resulting in the developer submitting revised plans to better accommodate the objections, a mediated consultation process over re-siting a primary school, and an agricultural enforcement notice between LPA and the farmer resulting in an agreed plan of action. Afterwards the PROSIG members entertained John at the adjoining hostelry.
Mediation at Hull University
The chair address over 80 law students at Hull University on the 19th November co-inciding with the England/Germany football match. That didn’t matter as the audience sat riveted less at what the chair had to say but more so at the antics on stage of the Falstaff family and Mistress Quickly – a tried and tested demo mediation involving a will, a family and a mistress. More to the point this sort of evening with law students is a vital part of ANM’s educational activities. 2014 will we hope show more examples of the road show going round the regions law schools.
Training – coming very soon!
- July 10 – Leeds update on Jackson’s Costs reforms
- July 17 – Manchester mediators surgery on the Jackson’s costs reforms
- September 17 – David Richbell repeats his master class in Leeds
- September 25 – CESIG Construction Group meets in Manchester with David Cornes
- October 11 – the biannual CIArb Musill lecture with Dyson LJ in Leeds
- October 24 – Evaluative mediation? An evening in Manchester with Michel Kalepetis QC
Summer School June 2013
Once again a full house of 20 ANM members had a tremendous 2 days in Malham – the 13th annual summer school of ANM. Course directors this year were Jane Gunn and Aled Davies who provided first rate guidance into what we as individual mediators bring to mediation. It brought home just what a rich supply of mediators we have in the north with such experience, wisdom and rapport building to name but a few. Having the confidence to be yourself and yet the flexibility to dance ...
‘Dance’ you say, ‘who needs ballet?
Who needs to move and sway that way?’
But that’s not dancing, just moving that way
When you celebrate each day, that’s dancing I say’
When you dare to be you, that’s when you dance
When you fall and get up, that’s when you dance
When you can laugh at yourself, that’s when you dance,
When you enrich someone’s life, then you have danced.
For dancing is feeling that whatever place you’re in
Can be made into place where hope can begin
Dancing is reaching again and again
For the best that’s in you ---- that’s dancing , my friend.’
(from Dudley Weeks poem ‘To Dance’)
David Richbell in Newcastle 30 January 2013
Members and guests are reminded that David Richbell is giving his Mediation master Class jointly with the CIArb in Newcastle at 6pm in Watson Burton’s city centre offices. ANM has known David for many years and his insight into why he prefers mediation to adjudication makes for a fascinating evening. The event is free to members and any guest and you can download the Application Form here
CMC AGM London 12th December
The new chair of the CMC Sir Alan Ward and chief executive Jon Siddall were welcomed, and a hearty round of applause was given for the great work done by Sir Henry Brooke over the past 5 years. Mediators are extremely fortunate to have had such support to include of course deputy chair Bill Wood QC. This Association continues to pay a significant role within the CMC representing mediators on the ground. The attached photo shows members Peter Causton and Tim Wallis at the AGM.
ANM does both inward training for it’s own mediators and outward workshops to users and law schools. During 2012 in addition to the annual Summarily we have run day courses with Charlie Irvine on Negotiation, Restorative Justice with the RJC and mediation surgeries in Manchester and Leeds. We have also run workshops for the College of Law York, John Moore’s University Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan University, Leeds Metropolitan University, CIPS Yorkshire, ICE Manchester,the national conference of PKF accountants, and members have regularly conducted local awareness sessions and with local law societies from Teesside to Liverpool. Inclusive groups like ANM play a valuable role in spreading awareness about mediation, and we always welcome suggestions about what we could do in the future.
ANM – Change in governance
Since 1996 ANM has been an unincorporated Association. From November 2012 ANM becomes a company limited by guarantee. We have four directors with a managing board of over 15 members representing most of the areas within the ANM region. Further changes will be announced after the AGM on Wednesday 13th February 2013.
The minutes and accounts of the 2012 AGM are accessible in the members section. The 16th AGM was held in three locations via video link and proved a great success with 26 members attending – a record.
Government announces court proposals
On 8th February the Government published its proposals to reform the County Court. This follows a consultation in 2011 which ANM took part in. The charges are mainly directed at smaller claims and there is a great deal of space made for fixed costs and road traffic claims. The big news is that the small claims level is increased to £10,000. There will now be automatic referrals to mediation for all small claims up to £5,000 which means that the court based small claims mediators will have a dramatic increase in the numbers of referrals of defended small claims – estimated up to 80,000. This isn’t compulsory mediation but a requirement to "engage with a small claims mediator". This will involve engaging with both or all parties to the dispute. The automatic referral will also apply to higher value small claims once the initial scheme has bedded in. The proposals go on to say that the court based mediation service would be supplemented by ‘civil and commercial mediation providers’. Around 50 members of ANM have been trained to mediate over the telephone, and it remains unclear how the increased service will be put into effect. Either the government will expand the existing network of court based mediators, or they will contract in additional support from other providers such as ANM. In either event it is good that there will be additional support for small claims.
Earlier this year the government approved whats known as the EU Mediation Directive for cross border disputes, establishing separate protocol for these; the current proposals say that they will consider extending the directive to all disputes late on. What does that mean? In practice very little changes from a users standpoint. Mediators will be faced with very slight differences in the standards expected between international and domestic mediations. The government also hinted that it expected to continue to work closely with the Civil Mediation Council, to which ANM belongs, and that strongly hints that there is an expectation that the CMC will expect the CMC to regulate individual mediators as well as the training and the mediation providers. Again that's of little concern to users, but entirely expected. For further information go to http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-cp6-2011.htm and scroll down to "Response".
Time taken to get a case to trial
In January the government published it’s statistics going how long it would take to get a case to trial in each court. The average for small claims is around 30 weeks, and for larger multi track claims is 57 weeks. But individual court performance varied widely with the worst coming it at respectively 40 and 95 weeks. The Ministry of Justice announced that “ministers have already committed to a series of reforms to speed up the justice process. Measures include improved technology, more use of mediation to solve civil and family disputes, and simplifying processes to reduce delays and frustration for victims and witnesses of crime.” Encouraging parties to use mediation more is very much part of the government’s proposals, and clients ought to be advised of the difference between getting heard in court and the couple of weeks it takes to get a mediation organized.
New to the ANM?
We have a group for mediators who have been with ANM for less than 3 years. We meet every other month for peer review, support with gaining more mediation experience and exchanging ideas for promoting mediation in general! If you want to find out more please contact Fiona Green or on 0161 669 6231. The next meeting will be held at the RIBA Hub/Cube in Manchester on the 5th December 2011 from 3pm-5pm.
ANM launches Telephone Mediation panel from £50 per party
The cost of mediation or the difficulties of getting together in one place often put people off arranging a face to face mediation. In response to demand ANM has now launched its telephone mediation panel. Mediators have undertaken training on doing shorter mediations on the phone. These can last for less than an hour or in fact as long as the mediation takes. Simply click on the ANM Scheme button and you will be put straight through to the Scheme details.
New Civil Mediation online directory
A new civil mediation directory will replace the National Mediation Helpline from 1 October.
The civil mediation directory will help individuals and businesses to find a mediation provider anywhere in England and Wales. The mediation directory is an online tool and lists a number of local and national civil and commercial mediation providers, all of whom are accredited by the Civil Mediation Council. This includes ANM in all court areas covered by our members.
Individuals can search the directory for a mediation provider that is local to them; but it does not access individual mediators. ANM is one of the few providers who provide full information and direct access to mediators.
The cost of mediation is based on a fixed fee between as little as £50 to £425 per party, depending on the value of the dispute. Find out more by visiting the Civil Mediation directory.
Summer School 2012
This years 12th Summer school takes place in Malham on Thursday 31st May and Friday 1st June. This year’s Master Mediator will be Bill Marsh accompanied by our old friend David Richbell. This years topic will be very much on Managing Risk within Mediation. There are a few places left.
First 2012 Masterclass
We are delighted to have Professor Charlie Irvine coming up or rather down to present this first Masterclass of 2012. This will take place at ANM’s offices in Leeds on the 19th April. Charlie covers why mediation skills enhance communication. It really answers why we do what we do, and what makes it work so well.
The 16th AGM will be held simultaneously in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester at 5.30pm on Thursday 16th February 2012. Members can find details of both the agenda, the 2011 accounts and the minutes from last year in the members section.
ANM responds to government consultation on court changes
The government consultation required comment on such things as raising the small claims limit above £5,000, creating automatic referrals to mediation for all small claims and making pre-action protocols the norm. These are important policy areas for mediators indicating greater usage of telephone and time limited mediations. You can look at this Association's response to the consultation by clicking here. To find the questions it answers follow the link in the news item below immediately beneath the photo of David and Chris Richbell.
Training – Time limited mediation
This 6 hour CPD training event with Andrew Fraley takes place at 10am on Wednesday 6th July at the ICON Business Centre, Leeds. Whatever replaces the NMH in October will involve significant numbers of time limited mediations. Preference for appointments for these will be given to those who have attended one of the time limited mediation courses run by the Association on the last 10 years. Andrew gives a unique approach to handling parties when time is of the essence and getting to the crux early is key to being able to satisfactorily handle these mediations. Apply to ANM.
ANM to Sponsor the Civil Mediation Conference
We are sponsoring the 2011 conference in Manchester with Herbert Smith. We will be manning a trade stand at the Lowry Hotel throughout the conference which takes place on the 10th of May. The Minister of Justice Jonathan Djanogly is making a keynote speech. Other guests include the President of the CBI and insurers.
Annual Summer School
This years will take place on the 10-11th June in Malham. Course directors will be David Richbell with guest speaker Jane Gunn. It promises to be an unmissable event.
Peer mediation is one way we can take the benefits of mediation to the young. The ANM is keen to develop ties with local schools and is sponsoring it’s first peer mediation training programme at a school in the Wirral.
The Battle of the Gurneys hits Liverpool (again)
The infamous Gurney farming family will once again provide the backdrop for a demonstration mediation run by the Liverpool Group. The photo reveals the very great efforts that all concerned make to look the part, much to the satisfaction and amusement of the Liverpool Law School. This is part and parcel of our aim to take the mediation experience to as wide an audience as possible. The Gurneys will be entertaining the students at Liverpool John Moores University on 10th March.
Summer School 2011
The 12th Annual Summer School was held in Malham with a cracking audience entertained by course directors David Richbell and Jane Gunn. The title Mastery in Mediation brought it home to us how much we all had to learn from each other whether it was from newly qualified members or old stagers like Silas, Chris and at least a trio of Pauls. At dinner glasses were raised to the health of the Association and it’s members. Here here and so say all of us!
CMC Manchester Conference
The ANM co-sponsored this year’s successful conference in Manchester with over 200 delegates attending at the Lowry Conference Centre. Members and guests were treated to an upbeat speech from minister Jonathan Djanogly setting out the central role that mediation is intended to play in the government’s plans to re mould the county court service. There were others from the chair or the CBI, Helen Alexander, who praised mediation’s role as helping and healing business relationships, vital when the economy was in the doldrums. Geoff Lloyd from the HMRC also underlined the government’s role in using more mediation in disputes involving revenue and taxation. There were useful insights into what the European’s were doing – the Italian Bar’s pending strike against mandatory imposition of mediation turned out to be a bit of a damp squid; pride of place went to the Irish who did a belt an braces operation in their Mediation Act, breaking new ground in setting out what is expected of both mediation and conciliation. ANM’s new stand was much in evidence; but it is the substance of what this organisation does rather than the size of its banner’s that counts, and our contributions both before and after the conference were and continue to be very well received.
Training – Telephone mediations
Mediating on the phone in an hour may well be one of the tasks members of ANM have to do once the government announces its intentions in or after October 2011. ANM ran a course in 2010 and is now registering mediators who are prepared to do and have carried out the required training. Members who missed out on the earlier training can now register if they run the Law Works podcast and apply to ANM for a listing with a nominal registration fee.
The Dispute Resolution Commitment - UK Government guidance for the use of ADR by government departments and agencies
"The Dispute Resolution Commitment (DRC) is aimed at encouraging the increased use of flexible, creative and constructive approaches to dispute resolution. The DRC offers the opportunity for government departments to demonstrate a best practice approach to business, and in particular how Departments resolve disputes. It allows departments to demonstrate a clear commitment to having in place a framework to avoid disputes where possible and to effectively manage and resolve disputes quickly and effectively utilising the most suitable dispute resolution mechanism." Thursday, 21st July 2011 Click for link to guidance
Training – Time limited mediation
Ace time limited mediator Andrew Fraley ran a workshop for 20 ANM members on 6th July. His insight into how to reach agreement within time limits reminded us all that mediators must manage the process and whist the parties manage the content. Mediation is really managed negotiations, and we have to rise to the challenge of relating to and dealing with the tasks in hand and the very different personalities involved within these tight time scales.
From meeting and greeting the parties, managing their expectations early on, concertinaing offers and drafting agreements, he demonstrated a mastery over this subject even if this time limited approach wasn't applicable to every mediation. At the end of the day every mediator wanting to regularly mediate should look to what style best suits the sector they are interested in. All this is important as ANM mediators may have to handle significantly more small and fast track claims in 2 to 4 hours. In the past 10 years more than 50 ANM members have attended these courses to ensure that we shall be well placed to meet the demand.
Annual Meeting 2011
This will take place at 5pm at Exchange Chambers, Leeds and Manchester by video link on Wednesday 16th February 2011. For full details please refer to the Members' Section
Civil Mediation Council Manchester Conference 2011
The annual get together of mediators, government and users will take place at the Lowry Centre on 10th May. The title of the Conference is "Seizing the Moment". This emphasises the increasing importance that mediation now plays and all those who are concerned about mediation in the UK should consider going. Full details can be found on the MC website http://www.civilmediation.org.
Government Consults on County Court Changes
The Ministry of Justice is conducting a wide ranging survey prior to making significant changes in the county court. This includes increasing small claims limits from the current £5,000, bringing in mandatory mediation for all small claims, and introducing automatic referrals of other claims to mediation awareness sessions. This association has produced a comprehensive response. The survey is accessible via Ministry of Justice website and our response can be downloaded here.
The Government will lead by example by committing to using better, quicker and more efficient ways of resolving legal disputes, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly announced on Friday 23rd June. This renews the commitment to use mediation and ADR more and to use the courts as a last resort.
Clarke puts the breaks on the litigation gravy train
Justice Minister Ken Clarke announced on the 29th March that the civil justice system needs an overhaul and that involves creating more effective alternatives to going to court. He is introducing automatic referrals to mediation in all small claims case which will now be increased from £5,000 to £15,000. A great many of these will be dealt with on the telephone. This association will be very involved in the process to include organising the pilot case screening to start in Manchester later in the year. For more information see http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/newsrelease290311a.htm .
Latest from the Master of the Rolls - ‘Mediation has had its day’ says Lord Neuberger on 10.11.10
My thanks to Chris McNall for posting the link on the ANM discussion board in LinkedIn. I decided to open this up as a separate discussion group as otherwise some of you might not be bothered to open the link and hence miss the importance of it. Lord N is Master of the Rolls and hence his speech is highly influential. I thought at first 'hell how could he say the mediation bubble has burst'; but to do so would be to miss the point.
His was a wakeup call. There is a danger of seeing mediation as being the answer to everyone’s disputes. The judicial system is an arm of the state; it's part of the fabric of government, and underscores citizen’s rights. Us mediators provide a service - some would say an adjunct - that complements the justice system; but it's not he says on an equal footing. So he reminds us that there should be a balance between the two - no hint of mandatory mediations here folks. I think he rather went over the top in establishing the difference between a whale and a minnow. But his wee 19C quote from Sir James Mathew said it all 'In England, justice is open to all - like the Ritz Hotel' (he can't be serious can he?) But anyway I think we all would agree that mediation isn't a substitution for access to justice. He clearly didn't like the idea of forcing people to mediate as he considered that it would have a greater impact on those who could barely afford to mediate let alone litigate. Someone should tell him that, when parties can access mediators for very little, with little extra over costs and delay caused by mediation, that compares very favourably with the flip side of continuing litigation. As he says 'Financial pressure on some litigants may well mean that a mediated solution becomes a substitute for justice because the requirement to mediate is a fetter on access to justice'. He sees that as providing an absolute limit to its development - hence the title to the speech.
He then goes on to discuss the empirical evidence about how successful and how much time and money mediation saves reciting Hazel Genn's 2007 hors d'heuvres on 'Twisting Arms' to say that the jury's out whether there was very much difference between mediated and non mediated cases, and that for instance the court based mediators dealing with thousands of small claims actually cost more money than they saved. I wonder how many mediations he has had the opportunity of observing. If 80% or thereabouts are successful, you only have to see the satisfaction levels of the users and often the outright relief that they no longer have the cost and uncertainty when being preoccupied with our precious civil justice system. Yes I agree that mediation isn't a magic potion; but it's a damn good one.
The lack of empirical evidence is worrying as it clearly doesn't reflect a lot of what we see and feel in those mediations we do or observe. We log in or should log in results of mediations on Survey Monkey. That gives valuable information like subject matter, settlement rates, satisfaction levels, added value in case of failure etc. But it is done by mediators not by users. We should also ask users to complete feedback forms. Shared information is very important if we are able to produce the factual evidence that shows mediations satisfaction levels, increasing settlement rates, earlier than they would otherwise do, saving costs and at greater speed. ANM should look at better ways of collating and improving information.
There is brief reference in the speech to mediations reducing court incomes as the courts aim to be self financing. Whilst this has to be put in context, this is worrying as there must be an element of self preservation amongst junior judges and court staff such that mediation is perceived to be a threat. Whilst this takes us away from the access to justice debate real politics within the civil justice system throw up innate conflicts in whether mediation is encouraged or not. Possibly we should expect the encouragement to be lukewarm in some quarters.
But it is in looking at the future that the MR hits the jackpot. Taking his key from both Hazel Genn and LJ Jackson he agrees the need for education and that is the key challenge for the future. That is our challenge as mediators as well to educate not only lawyers and judges but also members of the public and the users. The product itself should be broader says the MR – we should for instance embrace telephone mediations. He also makes a very brief reference to the development of what he calls ‘alternative business structures’ meaning the likes of Tesco and Co-operative Law. With a good product at the right price that produces an inordinately high satisfaction rate we should pile off to Tescos and install our dispute resolution machines! I foresee that the next speech will be entitled ‘Cutting the Cost of Conflict – where goes civil justice’. He praised mediation in more muted terms than I would have ideally liked to see. But once again he saw mediation as remaining a complementary adjunct to the courts and in securing access to justice for the many in difficult times. How we really measure the benefits of mediation is going to take some further hard work to get the message across, that most people would rather settle one way or another rather than have absolute justice (or not) within the courts. Achieving certainty and closure are often just as important as the result itself. We have a message to impart that is important and recognized as such by those in high places.
Anthony Glaister - 19/11/10
The Ministry of Justice cuts announced in October indicate that there will be extensive closures of smaller courts. In the north that may well lead to around 30 smaller courts closing. This will inevitably impact on the way cases are dealt with in the remaining courts. Whilst the government are unlikely to swing towards compulsory mediation with the requisite changes to the court rules, there will be more pressure on parties to use mediation particularly in the fields of personal injury and employment.
Personal injury accounts for less than 2% of the mediations recorded by ANM members. The use of joint settlement meetings whilst commendable in itself doesn’t answer why so many PI cases are not settled earlier when the costs are more proportionate. Whilst the government picks up the tab for running the courts, it is mainly insurers who pay for the costs of cases settled out of court. Already the government has said very clearly that it intends to strictly control ambulance chasing firms. Litigation should become the exception rather than the rule with better use of disclosure, negotiation/mediation within the protocol period. That lead should come from judges applying the costs stick in cases where mediation should have been tried thus avoiding the probability of litigation, encouraged no doubt by insurers.
In employment disputes, the department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) says that ACAS have been involved in less than 16% of tribunal cases. That is ludicrously low. There will undoubtedly be pressure put on all employment disputes to be referred to pre-tribunal mediations. Whether that will become a condition precedent to initiating an application in the employment tribunal remains to be seen. Business generally should be more aware of the advantages of using mediation both within the workplace and as a means of resolving most employment disputes. All mediators should be involved within their local business communities to make sure that this happens.
With summer came the high season for ANM activities. 20 members of ANM again visited Malham for the 12 annual summer school. David Richbell officiated as usual with this year’s star guest Tina Momberg who chaired the mediation group at the Copenhagen summit on climate change. A lively debate was held both on and off the field. ANM members were joined by other regional group members from Cumbria, Birmingham, Exeter and Norfolk. The some total of human contentment was markedly improved by the great escape to the Dales.
Kintish Marketing for Mediators
The marketing luminary Will Kintish pays ANM a visit in November. In my 15 years experience as a practicing mediator, there has never been a more propitious time to press the mediation button. The government says so and will once again be saying that litigation should be used as a last resort. The judges say so as February’s Jackson Report reminds us to make it our mission to the business community. Common sense says so as Jaw Jaw must be better than War War. So all ANM members should take the opportunity to come to listen to Will Kentish on the 17th November.
We welcome the following new members in 2010;
- Chris Clements an accountant with Grant Thornton in Leeds
- Claire Fox a solicitor with Horwich Farelly in Manchester
- Sir Stephen Brown consultant with Vermillion Partners and ex ambassador to Korea and Singapore
- Verity Halliday a Land Registry executive at HM Land Registry Lytham
- Dr Christopher McNall barrister at 18 St John’s Street Manchester
- Maggie Kennedy mediator and director of Consensus Mediation
- Fiona Green consumer credit consultant Manchester
- Barry Frieslander who practices also as a family mediator from Manchester
Government saves more money using mediation
The latest government statistics published on 2nd March 2010 show that again they have used mediation many times to settle departmental disputes. This time they say that they used mediation on 314 occasions with 259 settling at an estimated saving of over £90 million in costs they did not have to incur. We still come across examples of the government’s failure to use mediation when they should have done.
See the full report.
In a recent example involving Leeds City Council an injured claimant received £6,500 in damages against the costs that the council had to pay of over £30,000 in addition to its own costs. The council was criticised by the judge for failing even to make offers to settle let alone to mediate.
Any reader who sees similar examples please send them to us so we can name and shame the culprits.
The Battle of the Gurneys hits Liverpool (again)
The infamous Gurney farming family has once again provided the backdrop for a demonstration mediation run by the Liverpool Group. The photo reveals the very great efforts that all concerned made to look the part, much to the satisfaction and amusement of the Liverpool Law School. This is part and parcel of our aim to take the mediation experience to as wide an audience as possible. The Gurneys will be entertaining the legal community of Stockton and Middlesborough on the 14th June.
Full details of this years AGM held on 17th February are downloadable in the members section.
Costs Costs Costs
The report of Lord Justice Jackson on litigation costs was published in January. He says that mediation has a vital role to play in reducing the costs of disputes by encouraging the early settlement of cases. He says it is a culture change amongst lawyers not a rule change that is needed. Full commentary.
Tribute to Winx
John Winkworth Smith has decided to hang up his mediation boots so to speak. He is a founding member of ANM and has over the years been a constant source of support and enthusiasm for all things mediation.
His involvement with Consensus Mediation thankfully continues.
We all at ANM wish him well and we shall miss his infectious sense of humour and cerebral interjections at the 2010 summer school in Malham.
Northern Solutions E’zine
- due Spring 2010
News in Brief
- due Spring 2010
National Mediation Helpline - fee increase 1 April 2009
The NMH has increased it's fee levels for mediators by £100. Each party will now pay £300 plus VAT for a where the dispute is valued between £5,000 and £15,000 and £425 plus VAT between £15,000 and £50,000. The rates for small claims and for larger claims above £50,000 remain the same. ANM remains committed to encouraging the use of the scheme particularly for smaller less complex disputes.
Mediation Survey Results - Summer 2009
Survey details available at the Survey Monkey website.
Real help now with disputes at work from 1st April 2009
Resolving problems at work should now be easier for people and businesses, Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden announced on the 3rd April. A new streamlined process for resolving disciplinary and grievance issues came into effect. The central aim of this is to reduce the number of people going to employment tribunals and simplify the system for dealing with workplace disputes.
Minister for Employment Relations, Pat McFadden said: "Tribunals can be costly, time-consuming and draining for people and businesses alike. "We have changed the rules so that employers and employees will have greater flexibility to deal with grievances and disciplinary issues at work at the earliest opportunity. Acas' expanded helpline and conciliation services will play a key role in delivering this".
Employees and employers will be able to call the Acas helpline for impartial and confidential advice on the options available for resolving workplace problems. They will also be able to access a free early conciliation service for certain types of cases, with the aim to reduce the need for people to enter into full tribunal procedures.
Following the passage of the Employment Act 2008, a number of obligations on employers and employees when dealing with workplace issues have now been removed. The previous system, which instructed employers to follow a mandatory three-step system in resolving disputes, will be dismantled and employers will instead develop systems which best suit their workplace. Acas has developed a statutory code of practice to set out best practice guidelines for employers.
Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said: "We welcome these new changes and will be monitoring their impact on the Employment Tribunal system closely. The aim is that, where possible, it will be easier - and quicker - for both employees and employers to resolve their disputes in the workplace, without needing to escalate them to the Employment Tribunal. However, even where this is not possible it will still mean a quicker and more streamlined approach for those claims that do end up at the tribunal."
Katja Hall, Employment Policy Director at the CBI said: "CBI members attached great importance to this review and are pleased that the new regulations place substance rather than procedure back at the heart of resolving workplace disputes. This, and the focus on addressing problems at work early, will increase the number of workers who stay in their jobs, have a positive impact on industrial relations and can reduce costs for all parties."
For details of the regulatory procedures that apply until 6 April and for those which apply from 6 April go to: http://www.direct.gov.uk/resolvingdisputes and http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/resolvingdisputes. For details of the transitional arrangements that will apply go to http://www.berr.gov.uk/resolvingdisputes.
Acas can now step in earlier, their helpline number is 08457 47 47 47 and is open 0800 - 2000 Mon to Fri and 0900 - 1300 on Sat. Acas' early conciliation service can be accessed by calling the helpline. Their website is at http://www.acas.org.uk/drr and the Acas Code of Practice can be accessed at: http://www.acas.org.uk/dgcode2009.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has useful guidance for employers on its website; go to http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects and search for ‘mediation’.
The Association of Northern Mediators has independent workplace mediators available throughout the north. The ANM Employment and Workplace Mediation Group is co-ordinated by Jan Scrine, Associate Director of Consensus Mediation: she commented “Mediation is already a useful option for resolving contractual employment matters; the recognition of its place in rebuilding relationships in the workplace at the earliest stages of a grievance is welcomed. Independent providers are able to offer a more flexible intervention, tailored to the circumstances of the individual case, to produce cost-effective, sustainable outcomes.” Jan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANM – Widest Mediation Survey in the UK - Spring 2007
All members either put in or should put into an online survey information about mediations they have done. Since 2004 ANM has continued to monitor mediations and we now have statistics from almost 600 mediations carried out by members over the last 2 years or so. These show:
- Most mediators are appointed directly rather than through mediation providers
- Court Scheme appointments managed through the National Mediation Helpline are growing slowly
- The largest subject areas for mediations are either general contract disputes or construction disputes
- One of the smallest subject areas are personal injury and clinical negligence disputes
- Almost half the disputes handled by members are valued at over £100,000
- Less than 10% of disputes are valued at less than £10,000
- Over 75% of mediations settle
- Even when they don’t settle the parties do make progress in narrowing the issues or managing the dispute more effectively
This information and more is available by logging onto the Survey Monkey website.
Law Society launches Dispute Resolution Service
Now users can access the Law Society’s full range of ADR advice and expertise by logging onto www.lawsociety.org.uk and finding the link to the service. This should be effective as from the end of May 2007.
CIArb re-launches its DR Service
For a long time the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators was associated much more with Arbitration than with anything else. Since 1995 it has provided a panel of mediators and since 1998 a panel of adjudicators. The new service comes under the arm of a wholly owned subsidiary called IDRS providing advice on and appointments of a full range of DR professionals. Find out more by logging onto www.idrs.ltd.co.uk.
Summer School 2006
The Association of Northern Mediators ran the 7th Summer School with David Richbell and Joanna Kalowski at the beginning of June. Members of the Association of Northern Mediators and the Association of Midland Mediators met up in the Yorkshire Dales for a thought provoking 2 days. This seventh summer school took us through a wide ranging discussion on using mediator skills to overcome difficulties thrown up by parties attending mediations. It was universally declared to be the best summer school yet.
ANM as a Mediation Provider approved by the DCA
2006 saw the Association approved by the Department of Constitutional Affairs as an organisation that met the high standards expected of its members. We satisfied the DCA that all panel mediators were properly accredited and trained, that they maintained adequate professional insurance, achieved good reports from the mediations carried out through the Association and continued to hone their skills by attending further courses during the year. Users of the Associations services should be confident that we will do what the label says we will do in providing a first class mediation service. Given our limited administration this is a considerable achievement and says a lot for the commitment of all our members in improving access to quality mediators and to improve access to justice as a whole.
Mediators unregulated by EU
Mediators are already regulated by both the organisations which trained them, by this Association and by the Law Society or whichever professional body they belong to. We were pleased that the EU Parliament rejected proposals by the Commission to define the required standards for mediators. It goes without saying that whatever the EU had in mind would be less onerous than the standards applied here. There was absolutely non point is adding another regulatory layer.
Government announces national court mediation scheme
With effect from sometime in early summer the existing court schemes running in Chester and north Wales, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Teeside and all Yorkshire Courts will be subsumed into a national scheme run centrally through something called the National Mediation Helpline. All mediation enquiries will be channelled through a single point by using the helpline number 0845 6030809. Currently there are 5 providers listed whose mediators are then picked from their rotas. This Association will be registered as a provider with the Civil Mediation Council for all the courts within the region once the new scheme comes into effect.
What will this provide? The changes are aimed at providing an efficient administration at minimal cost. Users will be offered a scale of charges probably based on the current scales of £250, £500, or £750 per party for a time limited mediation. These scales offer considerable cost savings for users, and mediators are sourced within 2 working days. This Association will play a very active part in running the court scheme within the courts running from Chester and North Wales through to the East coast of Yorkshire.
When will Courts penalise refusal to mediate? - Court of Appeal guidance
The Court of Appeal has given important general guidance in the use of ADR and mediation in personal injury litigation and in particular has ruled on the circumstances where it is appropriate to penalise a party who refuses mediation. The Court's judgement (in the consolidated appeals of Halsey -v- Milton Keynes General NHS Trust and Steel -v- Joy and Halliday) was reached after giving consideration to the representations of four ADR providers and interested bodies and can therefore be taken as its definitive view on how ADR should and should not be encouraged in this field.
The court declined to penalise the refusing parties in both cases, deciding that refusal was not unreasonable in the circumstances. At first blush, the judgement appears to be a major setback to supporters of mediation. On careful analysis however, the jury is out as to whether the guidance given by the Court of Appeal will in fact encourage the greater use of mediation, in particular in personal injury cases where the take up of mediation has been notoriously slow. An article by Paul Hughes of Crutes solicitors.
Read the full article by clicking on this link
Read the judgement in full by clicking on this link. (PDF document)
2005 Mediation Survey published - over 1000 mediations
The 2005 Mediation Survey has now been published. Our survey this year asked the members of the Association how many mediations they had conducted during 2005, and how they were appointed. It included additional questions about the types of mediation and their values. This year the survey analyses results over 5 years of monitoring mediations. If you would like to periodically look at the results they are available on the Survey Monkey system
The results show a number of trends:
- Direct appointments have overtaken appointments from primary providers by a margin of almost 3:1.
- Court Schemes have a limited success although their numbers outstrip appointments by national providers if the unrecorded small claims mediations are added to the 29 recorded.
- The success rate has increased above 75% indicating a margin of success not too different from for instance CEDR’s statistics.
- Of those that did not succeed there were significant gains recorded despite the lack of success to include narrowing o issues and better communications.
- Sectors such as general commercial and construction disputes produced the largest numbers of mediations. Personal injury and health care disputes produced either a reduced or otherwise a poor showing.
We would welcome comments and suggestions from those reading the statistics as we aim to show mediation and its effects in as transparent and accurate way as possible.
Stop press – national mediation awareness week 2005/6
The government said that it is going to repeat its mediation awareness week in 2006 following last October’s successful week when mediators, judges, court staff, and the Law Society and the Bar all ran different events highlighting the uses of mediation. This year there will be events taking place in the first week in October 2006.
Stop press – government announces savings of £24 million
Last year the government worked UT that it had saved something of the order of £14 million following using mediation to cut down the time and the costs of resolving disputes. This years savings are even greater. The Department of Constitutional Affairs in London has reaffirmed its determination to see litigation used as a last resort.
Stop press – insurers announce new protocol for personal injury aimed at reducing the costs of resolving disputes
The Association of British Insurers announced in November 2006 that it was establishing a new protocol for insurers to cut down the use of litigation to solve insurance claims. The ABI claimed that for every £1 spent on compensation a further 93p in costs was being paid out to claims handlers for claims of less than £15,000. Even for claims in the scale above this the average was over 40p per £1. The protocol will involve complainant’s completing standard claim forms and insurers than having 3 months to investigate and reply. Insurers would offer a free legal advice service. There is then an opportunity to mediate and only if that fails will the complainant then go to court. For further information look at the ABI website and search for the report titled ‘Care and Compensation’.
South Wales Court Mediation Scheme
The South Wales Court Mediation Scheme was launched in January 2004. Click on the link to download the documentation from the Court Service Website.
Court Schemes Report
A report on the court schemes by the Association's Chairman is now available.
Latest Briefings - the ADRG and CEDR Conferences
Government announces the formation of up to 40 new court based mediation schemes. This was announced both at the ADR Group debate in October and the CEDR Congress in London on the 20th November 2003. The Minister David Lammy who spoke at both Conferences emphasised the importance of bringing to the fore non financial remedies in successfully resolving disputes such as the Alderhey Hospital body parts settlement. The Government are at long last wedded to the concept of mediation being at the forefront of dispute resolution by reducing in absolute terms the numbers of disputes resolved through the courts. Hence the priority of expanding court based schemes. There are three basic areas where the government want to push mediation:
- Awareness raising through publicity
- Court based advice service
- Running at least one mandatory scheme
It's the last one that causes most concern, although it will be interesting to see how mandating mediation will affect the results. Doubtless the governments commitment will be tested by how much backing it gives to providing an on site advisory service either using local mediators or by training specific members of the court staff. The DeCAff representative, Heather Bradbury, confirmed that £1.5 million would be made available to expand mediation centered primarily on Court related schemes.
Lightman LJ gave his views at the CEDR Conference by suggesting that judges should really impress on the parties the high risk of continuing with litigation. At in his Hirst v Leeming decision the burden of refusing to mediate is a heavy one and can lead to cost penalties. Similarly in Leicester v Coates a party withdrew from the mediation and a party who lost having failed to agree to mediate in Vivani v Vivani ended up paying indemnity costs. He outlines the general principles to be adopted:
- A party refusing to mediate must say why in writing
- Judges must understand that litigation ought to be a last resort
- Judges should know if a party has 'failed to engage in the mediation process
- It's this last one that causes considerable interest as it might very much impinge on the mediator's confidentiality agreement. Coleman LJ very much agreed and spoke specifically on the enforcement of mediation clauses.
Court Schemes were very much in vogue, with the CEDR Conference coinciding with a JSB conference of judges on such schemes. DJ David Cooke from Birmingham spoke about the success of their scheme for disputes over the small claims limit. Full details of this and other schemes are reported elsewhere in the News section. We can expect further developments in areas such as Housing Disrepair and Employment schemes, and our specialist groups of mediators in these areas are working on accessing schemes in the next 6 months.
User Groups were well represented at the conference. The NHSLA were confidently pro-mediation whereas the Treasury solicitors appeared fairly lukewarm. The representatives of the Society of LA Chief Executives and AVMA were really very positive in their desire to accelerate access to mediation. The solicitor handling the Alderhey mediation was particularly poignant in his support for the way mediation produced a solution that suited over 99% of the claimants showing the importance once again of the non-financial benefits.
Marketing Mediation and Regulation were areas that drew particularly heated debate. The Chair of ANM spoke on self help through working together within loose groupings of mediators. Most of the rest of the panel spoke from particular vested interests either from the major providers, the professions or the private providers standpoints. At least we were all agreed on the ethos of minimal regulation.
It is expected that very shortly the court of Appeal will be making a key pronouncement on mediation in a case called 'Halsey v Milton Keynes General Hospital Trust'. It will cover the key areas of what powers the court has to stay litigation in favour of trying mediation and on the costs consequences refusing to mediate. If you want to see the debate, the submissions of the Law Society and the ADR Group are posted in the members section. The result of this important decision will be posted shortly as soon as we have heard from the Court of Appeal.
Insurance market sets up mediation scheme
In a drive to use mediation in insurance disputes Lloyds of London has launched a claims mediation centre. It has been set up by mediation provider InterMediation using a number of top City firms. The Chair of the Association of Midlands Mediators, Andrew Paton, calls the move to starting an insurance mediation centre in London as a major benefit to the insurance market.
Costs Sanctions Urged
Lord Phillips, the Master of the Rolls, urged Judges to punish Solicitors with costs orders if they do not comply with Alternative Dispute Resolution Orders. Speaking at the Inner Temple on the 20th April 2002 Lord Phillips said ADR was effective in keeping prices lower and the parties on trading terms. He praised the Commercial Courts' case management of ADR and said that District Judges need better training and resources to deal with it. This very much follows the ruling in Dunnett v Railtrack reported elsewhere, which saw a winning Claimant penalised on costs for failing to obey and ADR Order. Whilst his comments weren't restricted to ADR Orders, he saw the lack of use of costs sanctions by Judges as a reason to highlight this under use of Judicial powers. He reflected on the very positive mediation experience in the Commercial Courts where there was a significant increase in the numbers of ADR Orders. In the 88 cases monitored in the year up to July 2000, only 27 had failed subsequently to use ADR procedures following the issue of an ADR Order (LCD Research No. 1/02). Lord Phillips was clearly impressed that the majority of cases settled after the imposition of an ADR Order in the Commercial Court, and could see significant benefits in the wider use of ADR Order in all Civil Courts. (25.4.02)
European Green Paper on ADR
This was published by the EC Commission on the 19th April 2002. The purpose of the Green Paper is to initiate a broad based consultation of all those involved in alternative dispute resolution in civil and commercial law. It highlights the growing interest on ADR in the European Union in three particular areas:-
- As a means of improving access to justice.
- As a response to Member States' governments who produced legislation encouraging ADR.
- It has been given political priority in the field of information technology disputes and web-based cross border disputes.
The initial report recognises the importance of the development of ADR throughout the EC and this paper is intended to make civil and commercial mediation a pivotal process in the way cross-border disputes are settled.
Take for example ADR in the context of EEC Court proceedings. It says that the Member States' Codes of Civil Procedure allow for Judges to make conciliation (as distinct from mediation) as a compulsory phase in the procedure, or "explicitly to encourage Judges to intervene actively in the search for an agreement between the parties". It quotes CPR Rules 26.4 and 44.5 that give UK Courts power to suspend proceedings and reduce costs recoveries, and gives similar examples elsewhere in Europe. It highlights that ADR is not the subject of regulations in the Member States retaining its voluntary status. It looks at the rather mixed history of conciliation in labour disputes and mediation in family law, and sets the task of seeing how Mediators in the EC should be regulated ie. whether such regulation should be done locally in the Member States or globally as a European Directive.
You really have to read through the Euro-speak to get a good flavour of this report. Take for example "any measure that might thus be implemented in line with this Green Paper and on the basis of the consultation should also respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as set out in article 4" or "the appropriate instrument - regulation, directive or recommendation - should be selected according to the nature of the measures envisaged". Why they cannot use clear language remains a mystery. We expect the Green Paper to generate more wise words about comparative research into ADR between the different countries, and that might just result in some sort of Code of Conduct for certain types of ADR, particularly those that involve a cross-border element, to include E-commerce, trade and consumer disputes.
Comments on the Green Paper or requests for copies to: JAIemail@example.com
Case Law Updates
UK Courts will not permit certain cases to go ahead without prior recourse to mediation. For details of the Court of Appeal decision in Frank Cowl v Plymouth City Council 2001 and the Master of the Rolls strong support of using ADR in appropriate cases in Dunnet v Railtrack 2001 see below.
Cowl v Plymouth City Council
Dunnett v Railtrack plc
Pilot Scheme Report Published - September 2001
The Leeds Metropolitan University report on the Leeds Mediation Scheme for the Lord Chancellor has now been published. Click here for a copy.
The Government says yes to mediation - 23/03/01 - Lord Chancellors website
Employment agencies encouraged to mediate - DTI Directive 22/06/01 - DTI Website
Press Announcement - 31 July 2002
The Lord Chancellor's Department has today issued a report to show how Departments have taken forward the Government's commitment to use alternative methods of dispute resolution (ADR) to settle its own disputes.
The information submitted to the Lord Chancellor's Department shows that in 48 disputes in various Departments a method of dispute resolution has been used or attempted since the Lord Chancellor announced the ADR Pledge in 2001.
The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, said today: "Despite this apparently slow beginning I am encouraged by the genuine desire which Government Departments have shown to build on this commitment. From the evidence submitted to us I am confident that use of ADR will continue to increase in the next few years.
"The ADR Pledge is clearly being taken very seriously. It is also clear that there is growing enthusiasm for ADR within Government Departments. Many of them have embarked on significant progressive steps to implement training programmes and are undertaking awareness training in ADR, sometimes even with Government Lawyers training as mediators themselves to ensure that ADR is a fundamental part of their dispute handling process.
Over time, I hope that these annual returns will demonstrate the continuing increase in the level of ADR use."
- This report can be found on the LCD Website www.lcd.gov.uk The Pledge
- Under the terms of the ADR Pledge, all Government Departments and Agencies have made the following commitments:
- Alternative Dispute Resolution will be considered and used in all suitable cases wherever the other party accepts it.
- In future, Departments will provide appropriate clauses in their standard procurement contracts on the use of ADR techniques to settle their disputes. The precise method of settlement would be tailored to the details of individual cases.
- Central Government will produce procurement guidance on the different options available for ADR in Government disputes and how they might be best deployed in different circumstances. This will spread best practice and ensure consistency across Government.
- Departments will improve flexibility in reaching agreement on financial compensation, including using an independent assessment of a possible settlement figure.
- Government Departments will put in place performance measures to monitor the effectiveness of this undertaking.
We are delighted that the Lord Chancellor is once again demonstrating the governments commitment to mediation. But wisdom is one thing in demonstrating how appropriate mediation and ADR generally can be in settling disputes, and integrity is another in actually putting into practice this pledge to use litigation as a last resort.
Clinical Negligence Developments
The Government's report last year highlighted the unacceptably high cost and sizeable increase in the volumes of clinical negligence disputes even in the light of its own CPR protocol. The ANM special interest group or SIG on personal injuries and clinical negligence has held high level talks with representatives of the NHS Legal Services, the Medical Defence Union and the Federation of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) on the one hand and the claimants representatives with the Action for Victims of Medical Accidents (AVMA) on the other. The talks were not aimed at creating a scheme in the near future but in assessing what the different parties wanted out of the Government's push towards using ADR more to resolve its disputes. There was a belief from the founders that the reluctance to mediate came more from the Claimant representatives rather than the Defendants. That is by no means the universal experience, but is a significant perception. The total volume of mediation at 23 so far were pretty dismal even by the standards of other sectors. There may be a reluctance to use mediation on the basis that AVMA considers that mediation isn't really appropriate for most clinical negligence disputes. But they do take a positive attitude towards a wider interpretation of ADR. Arnold Simanowitz, AVMA's longstanding Chief Executive, says that opportunities now exist to use mediation as a springboard towards developing new evaluative structures, and he sees an expanding roll for neutral assessors or gatekeepers*. They, he says, would be brought in at an early stage to sort out what course is appropriate. He is able to bring in another expert neutral if the case is complicated enough; having heard the parties, he then gives a preliminary view. There will be in evitable difficulties in agreeing on the identity of the assessor because of the split in the profession between Claimant and Defendant types. There is also the perception that mediation is in a glass bottle labeled 'Faciliatives Only' - this is too narrow approach, and ANM members consider that mediators have a wider roll to play than simply being there to encourage the parties to create their own solution. Most mediators have specialist evaluative experience which carefully combined with the mediators traditional roll could be an extremely useful combined skill to steer the parties towards either a settlement or a more refined process to achieve that settlement. Simanowitz's views about 'gatekeepers' may not be as wide off the mark as we might at first have thought in the light of the wider Government's interpretation of ADR.
*Source - Clinical Risk 2002-8
EU Green Paper on ADR
The Association believes that all UK based ADR bodies have a vital roll to play in bringing mediation onto the European agenda. The EU Green Paper published this summer is aimed at increasing the use of mediation in resolving cross border disputes. We see it as a much wider opportunity for the EU to recommend the use of mediation in all its contracts and negotiations in the same way as the UK government has done so in its OGC Guide to Dispute Resolution. They asked various bodies including this Association to comment by the end of October, and you can see our response by clicking here.
A fuller analysis of the EU position on ADR can be found in our archive section.
Government Dispute Guidance
The introduction of new ways to resolve contractual disputes between government departments and suppliers has been launched by the Governments procurement think tank the Office of Government Commerce. The guidance is published with the specific backing of the Lord Chancellor's office and is but one of a series of initiatives to promote alternative ways to resolve disputes that followed the governments pledge of March 2001 to involve ADR in all disputes wherever the other party accepts it. The guidance seeks to put into effect sound dispute avoidance and dispute management principles. Its interesting to note that the section on mediation also covers conciliation, which takes a mediators roll into using evaluative techniques as necessary. Litigation and arbitration are both to be used as a last resort and the dispute resolution routemap includes the full panoply of Neutral Evaluation and Adjudication as well as Mediation and Conciliation.
See also http://www.open.gov.uk/Home/HOHome