Making Mediation Mandatory
BY AMELIA NICE
“What are the benefits of making mediation mandatory?” asks Amelia Nice, bringing a barrister’s perspective to the issue. The debate about compulsory mediation has been around for some time, she explains, but with the government introducing the Small Claims Mediation Scheme last year, the issue has gained even more traction.
The debate around whether mediation can or should be made mandatory has been around for some time. In July this year, the government announced their intention to implement mandatory mediation in all contested claims under £10,000 in the county courts; one driver being only 21% of small claims opt into the present Small Claims Mediation Scheme (SCMS).
The government is also consulting on introducing mandatory mediation to other areas, such as the SEND Tribunal.
More widely, there is growing commentary regarding the use of compulsory mediation – in view of many, its time has come.
What are the benefits of making mediation mandatory?
The potential benefits of mediation are old news:
• Saving costs and time
• Finding more comprehensive, imaginative, and potentially commercial solutions to disputes
• Reducing grief, stress and repairing relationships
• Ensuring sustainable agreements
Making mediation “mandatory” however, could overcome some other persistent problems: