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Government Minister speaks to CMC National Mediation Conference

Thu, 12 May 2011

 

Several associate mediators of the Dispute Mediation Consultancy were present to see Jonathan Djanogly, Minister at the Ministry of Justice deliver a passionate speech on reform of the Civil Justice system. Being a long term believer for the use of mediation in settling disputes,  he answered probing questions from lawyers, surveyors and others present at the Civil Mediation Council's 5th National Mediation Conference held in Manchester this Tuesday.

With standing room only the Minister spoke to a full room of attendees representing a diverse range of institutions and private members with interest in the varied methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Mediation was central to discussions at this lively event.

The Minister highlighted the need for reform of the judicial  system and stated that mediation lay at the very heart of government plans and was not to be considered as an optional extra. Mediation was regarded as a sensible solution to the resolution of disputes as it provided more choice, was proportionate and provided focus on controlling costs. Mediation provided a forum to explore areas for cooperation and provides for ongoing good business relationships.

He stated that the reform strategy was to be based on 4 principles:

  • proportionality
  • personal responsibility
  • streamlined procedures
  • transparency

Mediation should take centre stage with automatic referral to mediation for all small claims. The aim was to achieve settlement without Court intervention.

Government wants to reinforce the 2001 pledge for greater use and support of Alternative Dispute Resolution by Government and local authorities. He stated that their was a need to accelerate things and felt that there was great potential to extend the current use.

 HMCS already employs 20 mediators who have mediated over 10,000 cases. Telephone mediations have proven to be highly successful with over 90% of participants finding the process positive.

In the Q&A session the Minister highlighted the current consultation paper - reforming civil justice in England & Wales, supported by Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP, Lord Chancellor, and suggested that the limit on small claims should rise from the current limit of £5,000 to £15,000 or even £25,000.  Greater encouragement was to be given on the use of on-line services and the use of mediation information on www.direct.gov.uk

The full consultation paper can be found on the gov.uk website see reforming Civil Justice

 

 

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