Westminster Legal Policy Forum

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Next steps for dispute resolution in England and Wales - mandatory mediation implementation | Arbitration Bill | professional standards | training and professional development | integrating technology | role of the courts

May 2024

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

This conference examined priorities for optimising mediation and arbitration in England and Wales.

It was an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to assess the impact of the Government’s plans to integrate mandatory mediation into all small claims in the civil justice system, as well as measures outlined in the Arbitration Bill, announced in the Kings Speech.

Delegates considered the current state of the market and next steps for integrated mediation, looking at implications of increased use, innovative approaches and collaborative solutions to navigating disputes, and building understanding.

There was also a focus on priorities for workforce development and building capacity across all types of dispute, looking at options for greater oversight on standards, quality and training in the sector, as well as the way forward for encouraging greater diversity in arbitrator selection.

We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with: Lord Neuberger, Arbitrator, One Essex Court; and former President, Supreme Court (2012-2017); Kim Wager, Head of Dispute Resolution Policy, Ministry of Justice; Rebecca Clark, Chair, Civil Mediation Council; and Jonathan Wood, President, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; and Chair, International Arbitration, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain.

Overall, areas for discussion included:

  • Government’s strategy: impact of increased integration of mandatory mediation into all small claims in the civil justice system - improving service delivery as the number of mediation users grow - greater emphasis on avoidance strategies
  • Arbitration Bill: assessing the future of domestic and international arbitration under the new Bill - exploring the effectiveness of measures in Bill - the way forward for modernisation 
  • workforce: impact of increased use of mediation on the legal profession - priorities for training and professional development - establishing clear standards - addressing concerns regarding lack of diversity
  • system efficiency: assessing capacity to deal with increasing reliance on mediation - enabling and promoting effective management of the civil justice system as a whole - identifying areas for improvement
  • role of the courts: imposing sanctions and enforcing effective mandatory mediation - considering recent cases which clarify the ability of courts to compel parties to engage in mediation
  • service users: building public understanding and confidence in mediation - improving communication, access, support and safeguarding for users - integration priorities for those using mediation, particularly litigants in person - cost management
  • technology: the role of tech in enhancing the effectiveness and accessibility of mediation and arbitration processes - upskilling the workforce to deal with increased integration of technology

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from CJC; GLD; HMCTS; Law Commission; Home Office; MOJ; NAO; and the Welsh Government.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materialfs, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda