A new study of dispute resolution practices in Fortune 1,000 corporations shows that many large companies are using binding arbitration less often and relying more on mediated negotiation and other approaches aimed at resolving disputes informally, quickly and inexpensively.
Scotland is at a crossroads. As a nation, we face momentous choices. How we go about discussing them, and making them, may well determine how we work together in the future.
The fifth survey by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) calculates that mediation in the U.K. now saves businesses about £2 billion in legal fees, damaged relationships and lost productivity, at a cost of only £20 million in mediation fees. The survey concluded that there were about 8,000 mediations in the last year, which is up one-third since CEDR’s 2010 survey. A large proportion of these mediations were conducted by only 100 mediators, with top mediators charging over £8,500 per case and earning over £400,000 a year. The survey also covered the experience and backgrounds of mediators, performance in mediation and perspectives on standards and regulation. CEDR began its mediation surveys in 2003.
CEDR’s Fifth Mediation Audit (May 15, 2012)
Here is another in a series of updates on international mediation development by Keith Seat, Mediate.com Legal ADR News Editor.
The U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has criticized the European Commission’s proposal for online dispute resolution of consumer disputes and proposed Directive on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumer disputes. The OFT supports the goal of increasing ADR for consumers, but urges mandatory use of ADR in many consumer cases, so that companies don’t simply refuse to participate.
Shoo Smiths.co.uk (April 2, 2012)
We have “no-fault divorce” here in the States, but in the U.K. a party suuing for divorce still has to prove cause. Officially the grounds are such serious matters as adultery and abandonment, but it seems the courts will take just about anything presented.
The next two years present Scotland and the rest of the UK with a unique opportunity. How we conduct the discussion of the constitutional question (whether or not Scotland should become an independent nation) could be as important as the outcome.
At present, the offer of ADR schemes to resolve consumer disputes related to e-commerce transactions is scattered and incomplete. In addition, while half the existing ADR schemes offer consumers the possibility of submitting their complaint online, very few offer consumers the possibility of conducting the entire procedure online. Handling the entire process online would produce time savings and ease communication between the parties.
The U.K. Government announced that it is establishing two regional mediation networks for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in a pilot program to reduce workplace disputes and the number of employment tribunal cases. The mediation networks will be in Cambridge and Manchester, with mediation training of employees at 24 SMEs, as smaller companies are often not aware of the benefits of mediation and rarely use it. Trained mediators will then be able to assist other organizations in their regional network. The government is seeking a provider for the first round of mediation training. The pilot program is part of the government’s reform of the employment tribunal system; in the last two years tribunal claims have risen to 218,000, an increase of 44 percent. The program will run 12 months and expand to other areas if successful.
People Management Magazine Online (January 23, 2012); eGov Monitor (January 24, 2012)
A film showing parents who are having difficulties attending three mediation sessions. They discuss and agree a positive way forward for them as a family.
This is the second article in a two-part series about mediation in Ireland. This article focuses on the current approach to training and accreditation and also looks toward the future.
I woke up this morning – got the coalition blues! It only took twelve months - For win/win - To become win / lose! Just about a year ago the unthinkable in British politics occurred – two opposing parties signed up to a five year coalition.
Mediation is a funny old word. Pop it into Google Images and you get handshakes, jigsaws, tin-can phones and complicated diagrams. Some suggest agreement; some complexity; some downright difficulty. Mediation certainly means different things to different people. The dictionary definition is simple: ‘to settle (dispute, strikes, etc) as an intermediary between parties; reconcile.’ But in today’s launch of this new mediation scheme, I am less interested in what mediation means than in what it says, or what it tells us. I believe that mediation says something important about the people who mediate, about the people they mediate with and about society as a whole.
A healthy and productive school (or any other organisation or group) is one with plenty of conflict that is being dealt with well by people who are open to the gifts that it can offer. It is one where people manage to step beyond their fears to a place where there is compassion, creativity and readiness to learn.
To finish my series on applying ‘nudge’ thinking to mediation and effective dispute resolution at work I want to focus on creating a more productive conflict culture in your workplaces.
If the phrase “deficit reduction” characterised the early months of the new Westminster government, for many it has now been superseded by “preventative spending.” Investing wisely at an early stage to avoid spending far more later can save significant sums for the tightly-strung public purse – and one area of huge potential is mediation.
In response to the 2008 EU Directive requiring mediation of EU cross-border disputes beginning in 2011, Ireland’s Law Reform Commission issued a 230-page report in November on new procedures for mediation in a broad range of areas, along with proposed legislation to carry out its recommendations. While instigated by the EU Directive, the report also thoroughly addressed alternative dispute resolution within Ireland, focusing on both mediation and conciliation and establishing new court rules which took effect in November. Noting that the terms mediation and conciliation have often been used interchangeably, the five-member Commission urges differentiation so that mediation is always a facilitative process, while conciliation is advisory (e.g., evaluative). The report also gives close attention to confidentiality, among many other issues, and proposes a privilege to exempt communications from disclosure, while setting out numerous exceptions.
International Law Office (December 16, 2010); CPR (December 3, 2010); The MII.ie (November 16, 2010); Report; 2008 EU Directive
CMP are resolving to get even better at communicating with you about dispute resolution. On that theme here are some additional ideas for how to promote mediation, continuing from December’s 2010 blog and white paper.
In Ireland and the UK, the success of a mediation service often depends on the cooperation of third parties. Police officers, HR professionals, and social housing providers frequently find themselves cast in the role of mediation gatekeepers. Success hinges on these people ‘getting’ the whole idea of mediation.
The management of conflict at work probably represents the biggest unrecognised area for cost savings and market differentiation for organisations today. This article reviews the reasons that executives have yet been reluctant to embrace mediation, and the many operational and strategic benefits that it can bring.
I don’t want to mediate people on their best behaviour! They can’t sustain that type of interaction, or we wouldn’t be here in the first place! I want to mediate people who are being themselves and who are trying to communicate openly and honestly. My role is to be creative and supportive in how I do this – and that means working a lot harder than falling back on ‘respect’.
The British Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries is proposing a new mediation service to give an additional means of redress to consumers concerned about breaches of online privacy or seeking to get inaccurate personal information removed from the internet. The Minister is also pushing an updated code of internet conduct and seeking to meet with internet service providers and other key players to encourage their participation.
Guardian.co.uk (November 3, 2010); Telegraph.co.uk (November 2, 2010)
A detailed report by TheCityUK concludes that mediation and arbitration have risen sharply in the UK over the last two years following the financial crisis. The report notes that the total number of disputes resolved by mediation and arbitration in the UK increased by 78% to nearly 35,000, while the number of disputes involving international parties rose by 59% to 5,300. TheCityUK is an independent body which was established in May with support from the government’s City of London Corporation.
LegalWeek.com (September 21, 2010); Report: Dispute Resolution in London and the UK 2010
In a recent book ‘Nudge’, Thaler and Sunstein argue persuasively that we are all potentially ‘choice architects’ – ‘we have responsibility for organising the context in which people take decisions’. Like more traditional forms of architecture there is no such thing as ‘neutral’ design. What we do, particularly if we are in a position of influence, will influence the choices people make.
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Using physical experience to explore how we shift from a reaction to a response when dealing with challenges during mediation.