Last November a new All Party Parliamentary Group on Alternative Dispute Resolution was formally launched. The group is an initiative of various members of the ADR community, including the secretary of the Civil Mediation Council Iain Christie, Bar Council ADR panel member John Pugh-Smith and parliamentarians Bob Neill MP and John Howell MP.
The objective of the group is to ‘change the climate and culture of dispute resolution in the UK’. The group has set out an ambitious programme of meetings designed to promote awareness of effective dispute resolution processes and how they might be integrated more comprehensively into the system of dispute resolution in the UK to ensure it is meeting current and future needs.
Representatives from the Civil Mediation Council, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Family Mediation Council, Ombudsman services and other dispute resolution services are working alongside each other to influence government policy across all sectors and departments.
Sir Alan Ward, chair of the Civil Mediation Council (pictured), said: “The CMC has recently been granted charitable status and part of our aim is to bridge the information gap between practitioners, potential litigants and their professionals. This is a major step for us and a significant one. We are delighted to be playing a key role in influencing access to mediation for a greater number of potential litigants in a wide range of cases.”