An official report into whether people involved in litigation should be forced to take part in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has cleared the way for this – until now – voluntary mechanism to be forced on warring parties.
Recommendations within the report by The Civil Justice Council, which was commissioned by the Master of the Rolls Sir Geoffrey Voss, would usher in new regulations to mandate landlords and tenants who are involved in contested evictions to enter into mediation before going to court.
The lengthy report will have far-reaching ramification for the courts and tribunal service and in particular for possession cases involving landlords and tenants. It also name-checks the pilot ADR scheme set up earlier this year to try out mediation among feuding landlords and tenants prior, largely to try and alleviate the pressure on courts as eviction volumes rise post-Covid, highlighting some of the problems encountered.
Mike Morgan, legal division manager at HF Assist and Mediation, says: “We’re pleased to see this report into the potential for compulsory ADR, and the recognition that forms of ADR, such as mediation, need to be made an integral part of the justice process. Doing this will make them more common and more widely used. For housing and tenancy disputes our experience shows that to be effective and get the best results, the earlier mediation happens the better.”