A new Court of Appeal mediation pilot started on 2 April 2012 and will run for a year. It will be managed by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), which already administers the Court of Appeal Mediation Scheme (CAMS). Under the pilot, unless a judge exceptionally directs otherwise, every personal injury, clinical negligence and contractual claim worth £100,000 or less, and in which permission to appeal has been granted, will automatically be recommended for mediation to CEDR. If the parties agree to mediate, a panel of accredited CAMS mediators will be nominated by CEDR. The selected mediator will bring the parties together to try to reach a settlement, and if this is achieved, the case will not go back to the Court of Appeal. Litigants in person who qualify for free legal help will be provided with a pro bono legal adviser for the mediation and, if necessary, a pro bono mediation.
Whilst this scheme still relies on the parties agreeing to mediate, the degree of judicial encouragement is such that a refusal by one party to mediate could be clear evidence of unreasonableness, attracting cost sanctions.