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Peace process?

Involved in a mediation for the first time? Don’t panic – with careful planning and a good mediator, it can be a win-win situation, says Paul Newman

18 July 2003

For many years litigators were able to avoid mediation or ADR. The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) and other groups have proclaimed their message since the early 1990s, but for the average county court practitioner the emergence of ADR as central to dispute resolution has been slow. Indeed, the position is changing more slowly than some ADR proponents profess.
Many courts now encourage litigants to consider mediation, but much may depend on the enthusiasm of particular judges to promote ADR at case management conferences.
The mediation ethos hovers over the Civil Procedure Rules, although the message is not overt. Courts have powers to direct the parties towards mediation, such as CPR r 26.4. Some courts have developed court annexed mediation schemes which provide the parties with up to three hours’ mediation under the court’s auspices. Such schemes operate or are about to commence in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Exeter, Guildford and Cardiff...

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