CIArb News

Call to action: UK mediation consultation

17 Aug 2022

On 28 July, we called on our members to help shape our response to the UK Government’s recent proposals on mandatory mediation in England and Wales. We strongly encourage you to respond to the consultation individually as well.

The Government noted that they welcome “responses from court users, the mediation profession, the legal profession, the judiciary, the advice sector, and all those with an interest in the resolution of civil disputes.” A paper summarising the responses to this consultation will be published online by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in due course.

Writing a response to a consultation is an effective way to ensure your thoughts and opinions are heard at the highest echelons of the government. The MoJ will read through every submission, summarise the general consensus to publish online and discuss the key takeaways with individuals with the power to change the sector for the better.

Specifically, we would like to draw your attention to Question 12, on page 24 of the consultation:

“12. Which existing organisation(s) could be formally recognised as the accreditation body for the civil mediation profession and why?”

We want to ensure the Government fully understands the vital role CIArb plays as a professional body for mediators. As a global professional body, mediation is a core and established component of our purpose. Of our 17,900 members across the world, approximately 4,810 are Mediators, making up more than 25% of our total membership. In England and Wales, approximately 1,100 CIArb members are qualified Mediators. As such we have a strong claim to represent commercial mediators in England and Wales.

We would like you, our members, to highlight this to the Ministry of Justice and emphasize the value of your CIArb professional accreditation. We encourage you to include your own experience, thoughts and feedback in your response, to ensure the Government has many different perspectives to help inform their next steps.

CIArb suggests a few other general points to include in your letter, should you want to extend your response:

  • The advantages for end-users of a flexible system of regulation that utilises the existing professional standard regimes of organisations in the sector, including CIArb.
  • The drawbacks of setting up a new monolithic regulator encompassing all aspects of the mediation sector.
  • The value of using the existing framework of professional standards and regulation (including bodies such as CIArb) to protect end- users, rather than duplicating regulation and imposing unnecessary cost burdens that may negatively impact delivery.
  • The need to ensure that any system of mandatory mediation is properly funded to ensure quality provision by professional mediators.
  • The need to invest in educating and informing end-users in how the mediation process works.
  • The need to encourage the wider education of practitioners in the legal and ADR sector (particularly lawyers).
  • The value of working with professional bodies to uphold professional and ethical standards for mediators and ensure the public is protected.
  • The need for fully funded, efficient and transparent capture of data on the performance of mandatory mediation so that Government can properly assess its effectiveness.
  • We have created an easy-to-use, customisable, time-saving template for you to use which can be found below. Once your submission is ready, please send it to Disputeresolution.enquiries.evidence@justice.gov.uk by the deadline of 4 October 2022.

Should you have any questions about how to edit your template, what additional key information to include or on how to send it to the Government for submission, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we will assist. Alternatively, if you simply want to input into the CIArb HQ response, please do so by contacting Alexandra Braby (Policy and External Affairs Manager) at abraby@ciarb.org by Monday 12 September 2022 at the latest.


Please note – delete/change bold as appropriate.

Dispute Resolution Team
Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
London
SW1H 9AJ

Name
Address
Address
Address

Dear Dispute Resolution Team,

I am writing to you to submit my response on your recent consultation on increasing the use of mediation in the civil justice system. This is something that’s particularly important to me as [insert reason here/I work as a mediator, and this will directly affect my role because…/etc].

Most notably, regarding question 12, I believe that the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) is ideally placed to be formally recognised as an accreditation body. This is because they are a global professional institution bound by the terms of their royal charter to promote all forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the public interest. Around 25% of CIArb members globally are practising mediators, and in England and Wales, this figure is approximately 1100. These individuals have had to complete CIArb’s highly regarded training courses, and are bound by the CIArb Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct. As such, any formalised system for the accreditation of mediators in England and Wales should include CIArb.

In addition to the specific question above, I would like to highlight a few other principles that I believe should inform any new framework of mandatory mediation.

  • The advantages for end-users of a flexible system of regulation that utilises the existing professional standard regimes of organisations in the sector, including CIArb.
  • The drawbacks of setting up a new monolithic regulator encompassing all aspects of the mediation sector.
  • The value of using the existing framework of professional standards and regulation (including bodies such as CIArb) to protect end- users, rather than duplicating regulation and imposing unnecessary cost burdens that may negatively impact delivery.
  • The need to ensure that any system of mandatory mediation is properly funded to ensure quality provision by professional mediators.
  • The need to invest in educating and informing end-users in how the mediation process works.
  • The need to encourage the wider education of practitioners in the legal and ADR sector (particularly lawyers).
  • The value of working with professional bodies to uphold professional and ethical standards for mediators and ensure the public is protected.
  • The need for fully funded, efficient, and transparent capture of data on the performance of mandatory mediation so that Government can properly assess its effectiveness.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the open consultation and I look forward to reading the summary of responses and continued action in this sphere.

Should you wish to ask any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Kind regards,

Insert Name Here


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