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Mediation Bodies to intervene on case to determine if courts can impose mediation in civil disputes

Gregory Hunt, mediator and podcaster
Gregory Hunt, Mediator

Ben Rigby, in the Global Legal Post, recently reported on an impending intervention by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), The Civil Mediation Council (CMC) and The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in the appeal – Churchill v Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council – which could potentially overturn a 20-year-old ruling (Halsey) central to mediation in the UK.

Ben Rigby's report included comments from both Wolf von Kumberg and Paul Sills as well as representatives from CIArb and CEDR.

He also took time to meet me in person to ask my views.

On his popular LinkedIn page, Ben Rigby commented that I told him

Mediation plays a crucial role in dispute resolution, and the decision [in Halsey] undeniably posed a significant hurdle to the broader implementation and acceptance of mediation, creating an unfortunate misconception that automatic referral to mediation infringes on the right to a fair trial....mediation is not about forced resolution, but about providing parties with a constructive platform for dialogue. If a settlement isn't reached voluntarily, access to the courts is still preserved.

Ben Rigby himself adds

Gregg, rightly in my view, rightly says the intervention aims to pave the way for a more comprehensive understanding and application of mediation in our justice system. It is a significant step forward in the broader acceptance and integration of mediation in our dispute resolution framework. In his own words: "It is heartening to see that we are taking the right steps towards dispelling misconceptions and endorsing the constructive use of alternative dispute resolution methods."

You can read the original Global Legal Post article here, or go to Ben's LinkedIn post here.

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