MoJ Expecting Sevenfold Rise in Mediation Workload
BY JOHN HYDE AND MONIDIPA FOUZDER
“We have moved a long way from the attitude that the only real way to settle a dispute is in an adversarial trial.” says Lady Justice Asplin about the Ministry of Justice’s support of mediation. Making mediation compulsory for claims under £10,000 could increase the mediation workload by sevenfold.
The MoJ is looking to transform a system based on adversarial conduct to one that promotes dialogue and a restorative approach, said the MoJ’s Deputy Director of Dispute Resolution Sarah Rose.
Making mediation compulsory for claims under £10,000 will increase by sevenfold the workload of HM Courts & Tribunals Service’s small claims mediation service, a senior civil servant has said.
Sarah Rose, deputy director of dispute resolution at the Ministry of Justice, told a Westminster Legal Policy Forum conference that an integrated system of compulsory dispute resolution was ‘at the forefront of our minds’.
Rose stressed that compulsory mediation was not about restricting parties’ rights to access the court or a judicial determination but more about ‘transforming a system predicated on adversarial conduct to one that promotes dialogue and compromise’.
Claims valued under £10,000 referred for an hour of free telephone mediation with HMCTS’s small claims mediation service would become a ‘standard part of core procedure’, the conference heard.
Significant investment would be required to expand and enhance the small claims mediation service. Compulsory mediation would increase the service’s workload by 700%, Rose said. Thousands of people ‘who would not previously have tried to use mediation would be supported to do so at no additional cost to themselves’.