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Automatic Referral for PI & Contract Cases to Mediation

10th April 2012

A new pilot mediation pilot will aim to strengthen use of mediation for all personal injury and contract claims up to the value of £100,000 in the Court of Appeal. Papers are automatically recommended for mediation unless directed otherwise by the Judge.

The new scheme is designed to strengthen the Court of Appeal Mediation Scheme (CAMS). It will be managed by CEDR (Centre for Dispute Resolution) which administers CAMS.

When litigants in person are involved in the appeal, and qualify for free legal help, LawWorks Mediation will seek to arrange a pro bono legal adviser for them for the mediation, and if necessary, a pro bono mediation as well where there are two unrepresented parties.

The initiative is a resounding endorsement for the power and flexibility of mediation and will demonstrate effectiveness of dispute resolution at this later stage in proceedings.

Again cost incentives may well encourage mediation take up given possible sanctions for parties failing to make reasonable use of mediation when it comes to the judge awarding costs against parties for their conduct during the appeal.

The pilot begins on 2nd April 2012 and will run for a year. It will be monitored by CEDR and the evaluation will be considered by the senior judiciary. Parties will receive an information pack if their case falls within the pilot, and CEDR or LawWorks Mediation will contact them directly.

Further details of the overall CAMS can be found on the Ministry of Justice’s site – here.

For advice on preventing escalation of workplace disputes to employment tribunal and resolving disputes early see our section on Conflict Management System Design – here.

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