On 6 March, the Civil Justice Council held a workshop to discuss the recommendations made in its interim report on ADR, which was subject to consultation late last year. The interim report expresses concerns regarding a perceived underuse of ADR and suggests corrective measures, including a power for the court to determine whether costs sanctions should be imposed for unreasonable conduct relating to ADR (such as an unreasonable refusal to mediate) not only at the end of a case, as currently, but during the matter when the decisions regarding ADR are taken.
Jan O’Neill has published a post on Practical Law’s Dispute Resolution blog in which she questions how realistic the suggestion of “midstream” assessment of parties’ conduct relating to ADR would be in practice. She suggests that many of the concerns expressed in the report as to the underuse of ADR are not relevant to larger, complex claims, and urges the working group to tailor any final recommendations to the specific courts or dispute types for which they are needed and practicable. Click here to read the post (or here for the Practical Law Dispute Resolution blog homepage).