UK: Civil Justice Council report on ADR calls for review of Halsey guidelines but stops short of recommending mandatory mediation

Jan O’Neill
Professional Support Lawyer, London

 

The Civil Justice Council’s ADR working group has released its final report on ADR and Civil Justice, following consultation on its interim report released last year. The broad mandate of the review was “to maintain the search for the right relationship between civil justice and ADR” and to promote debate over possible reforms.

The report includes various recommendations aimed at improving the awareness of ADR (both in the general public and in the professions/judiciary) and the availability of ADR (both in terms of funding/logistics and regulation of the professionals involved).

However the recommendations likely to be of most interest to users of the civil justice system in the short term are those that relate to Court/Government encouragement of ADR.  In this regard:

  • The report does not support blanket compulsion of ADR in the sense of requiring proof of ADR activity as an administrative precondition to any particular step in the litigation.
  • It also rejects the introduction of mandatory Mediation Information and Advice Meetings (as used in the family courts) as a precondition to pursuing civil claims.

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CJEU holds that mandatory mediation is not inherently precluded by EU law

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has concluded that national legislation imposing mandatory mediation as a pre-condition to litigation is not precluded by the EU ADR legislative framework, provided that the parties are not prevented from exercising their rights of access to the judicial system.  

However, to the extent that such a pre-condition required consumers to be assisted by a lawyer in the mediation process, or penalised them for withdrawing from the mediation without good grounds, it would be contrary to the Consumer ADR Directive (2013/11/EU):  Menini and another v Banco Popolare Società Cooperativa (Case C-75/16) (14 June 2017).  

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Advocate General Opinion on the Consumer ADR Directive and compulsory mediation

In a case referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) by the Italian courts, an Advocate General opinion has been issued which considers the scope of the Consumer ADR Directive, including whether it precludes national legislation from imposing mandatory mediation as a pre-condition to litigation:  Menini and another v Banco Popolare Società Cooperativa (Case C-75/16). 

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Guide to Dispute Resolution in Africa: 2nd edition

Herbert Smith Freehills has published an updated second edition of our Guide to Dispute Resolution in Africa, a publication summarising the key dispute resolution procedures and trends in each of Africa's 54 diverse jurisdictions.

Since its publication in 2013, the first edition of the Guide has proved to be an invaluable resource not just for those facing disputes in Africa but for anyone who is considering investing in unfamiliar territory and would like to understand better the legal landscape of that country.  Whether you want to know the basics of a country's legal system, details on litigation and arbitration procedures, whether ADR is embraced, or what the applicable limitation periods or privilege rules are, this publication should be a first port of call.

Please click here to download the full Guide or here to access the chapter for a specific jurisdiction. 

To request a hard copy of the Guide, please email Africa Disputes.

Updated Jackson ADR Handbook published

A new (second) edition of the Jackson ADR Handbook was published on 8 September 2016.

The original edition of the Handbook (see our bulletin here) was published in 2013 as one of the suite of measures recommended by Lord Justice Jackson in his 2010 Review of Civil Litigation Costs.  That Review endorsed a "serious campaign" to ensure that lawyers, judges and the public were alerted to the benefits of ADR in resolving disputes, and recommended that an authoritative handbook be prepared to provide practical and concise guidance on all aspects of ADR, and in particular the use of ADR in relation to civil claims in England and Wales.

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ADR in Asia Pacific – Part 2

Further to our earlier post highlighting material from our recently updated Guide to Dispute Resolution in Asia Pacific, we now feature in part 2 the responses from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia and Myanmar to the question whether parties to litigation or arbitration in that jurisdiction are required to consider or submit to ADR procedures before or during proceedings. 

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UK: Civil Courts Structure Review recommends expanded role for ADR

The recently published final report of Lord Justice Briggs in his Civil Courts Structure Review includes some interesting conclusions as to the role currently played by ADR in the civil justice system in England and Wales and a number of recommendations aimed at expanding that role.

Key recommendations are for:

  • the proposed new Online Court to include an expanded range of conciliation options (beyond the short telephone mediation originally recommended); and
     
  • the re-establishment of a court-based out of hours private mediation service in County Court hearing centres.

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Herbert Smith Freehills launches latest Guide to Dispute Resolution in Asia Pacific

Dispute Resolution in AP

Please click here to preview this publication.  To request a copy of the guide, please email asia.publications@hsf.com.


Our updated Guide to Dispute Resolution in Asia Pacific aims to provide answers to some of the basic questions a party unfamiliar with a particular jurisdiction will wish to ask when facing the prospect of having to engage in a dispute resolution process in that jurisdiction (including at the stage of negotiating contracts, when deciding on the choice of law and whether to include jurisdiction or arbitration clauses in favour of a particular jurisdiction).

Amongst the range of topics addressed in the Guide, we asked local counsel whether parties to litigation or arbitration are required to consider or submit to ADR procedures before or during proceedings. We will feature the responses of the various jurisdictions in upcoming posts and cover our first five jurisdictions (Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong and India) below. 

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UK: Interim report published in Civil Courts Structure Review

An important judicial report has been published examining the need for changes to the court structure and processes for civil justice in England and Wales.

The Civil Courts Structure Review by Lord Justice Briggs was commissioned by the senior judiciary to coincide with the UK government's ongoing wider programme for reform of the justice system more generally.  Briggs LJ's  interim report was published on 12 January 2016, with a final report due by the end of July 2016 following further consultation.

One of the stated principles underlying both Briggs LJ's Review and the wider governmental reforms is the need for the justice system to 'be built around the needs of those who use it'.  The issues they address in this regard (including accessibility, timeliness and affordability) will overlap substantially with key issues to be examined over the next 18 months in the Global Pound Conference (GPC) series taking place in over 25 countries worldwide. The GPC series will bring together users and providers of dispute resolution mechanisms across the globe (both courts and private processes) to discuss and provide data on what users of dispute resolution systems will need in the 21st century and how those needs can be met. 

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Public consultation on mediation in the EU

The EU Commission has launched a consultation to gather views on the extent to which the EU Mediation Directive (2008/52/EC) has achieved its objectives and to consider whether any changes to the Directive are appropriate.

Responses to the consultation will inform a report the Commission is required to submit to the EU legislative bodies by May 2016, assessing the development of mediation throughout the EU and the impact of the Directive.  The report may, if appropriate, be accompanied by proposals to adapt the Directive. Continue reading