On 6th February the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee held a round table discussion on the availability of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Scottish Mediation, Core Solutions and the Edinburgh Sheriff Court Mediation Service were all represented along with Arbitration and Advocates and Lawyers.
The round table format itself highlighted a great example of how a non-binary format could allow a better exploration of issues and themes so it transpired.
Some of the key issues raised included, the patchwork nature of provision of mediation for simple procedure cases across Scotland, the success of mediation in family cases and in assisted special needs cases where it is supported by legislation.
The MSP’s on the committee raised some important questions including to ask how people are advised on the best way to deal with their disputes, whether there is anything to learn from other jurisdictions, if automatic referral to conciliation as happens in employment tribunals would be a good model and whether access to justice is the came as access to the court.
The committee have subsequently agreed to hold further evidence sessions which is welcomed by Scottish Mediation.
There were a great range of documents about the availability of ADR in Scotland submitted to the committee you can view them here.
The proceedings of the committee can also be viewed here.