Mandatory Mediation in England and Wales
Much Ado about Nothing?
This article is concerned with the thorny issue of mandatory mediation. In so doing, the piece charts the development of court-linked mediation in England and Wales from the days of the Woolf reforms and examines the growing clamour from judges, policymakers, commentators and, more recently, mediators for a shift from a mere cajoling of parties to mediate to outright compulsion. The article examines recent proposals for the introduction of mandatory mediation in English civil justice and sets out the view that, while mandatory mediation is inevitable and not per se objectionable on legal or policy grounds, care must be taken to ensure that it is implemented in such a way as to balance up different important policy drivers including efficiency, preserving the qualitative goals of mediation and filling the ‘justice gap’ that mediating in the shadow of the court can leave.
Keywords: mediation; mandatory mediation; access to justice; court-based mediation; mediation policy; litigants in person.
Those who contribute items to Amicus Curiae retain author copyright in their work but are asked to grant two licences. One is a licence to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, enabling us to reproduce the item in digital form, so that it can be made available for access online in the open journal system, repository, and website. The terms of the licence which you are asked to grant to the University for this purpose are as follows:
'I grant to the University of London the irrevocable, non-exclusive royalty-free right to reproduce, distribute, display, and perform this work in any format including electronic formats throughout the world for educational, research, and scientific non-profit uses during the full term of copyright including renewals and extensions'.
The other licence is for the benefit of those who wish to make use of items published online in Amicus Curiae and stored in the e-repository. For this purpose we use a Creative Commons licence (http://www.creativecommons.org.uk/); which allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to your entry in Amicus Curiae and/or SAS-SPACE; but they can't change them in any way or use them commercially.