I’ve just read this article in the Gazette, and thought it a good place as a starting point for some evidence-based discussion on this question.
Last week I attended a seminar at Garden Court chambers on ‘Medical mediation after Charlie Gard’. We heard at some length the judge’s comments as to the need for mediation to be used in such cases.
But is mandatory mediation the answer?
I think not. The moment parties to a dispute attend mediation there is a contribution to some good-will that is built up. Its a statement: “I’m ready to sit down and talk”. If parties were made to mediation, that would go out the window and would be replaced, with “I’m here because I have to be“.
You’ll have to read from my blog last week as to why the ‘voluntary’ nature of mediation is part of its success !
If lawyers and their clients will not come to mediation, then mediation may have to come to them. A compulsory scheme has been discussed and usually dismissed, but the working party makes clear this conversation is needed again. A minority of members recommends that ADR should be a condition of access to courts or to progress beyond a case management conference.