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Rules Council consults on mediation

21 August 06

Sheriff Court Rules Council invites views on proposed rules enabling the court to encourage parties to seek alternative methods of resolving their disputes


Court-directed efforts to resolve by mediation cases brought before the sheriff are up for discussion in a document by the Sheriff Court Rules Council.

The consultation follows a review by a committee set up to consider what role the court should play in encouraging parties to settle disputes by alternative resolution (ADR) methods, and how this might be achieved. The committee drew up draft rules for each type of sheriff court action, but recommended a wide consultation process before any rules are enacted.

The committee took the approach that the court should encourage rather than compel parties to adopt ADR. However the court should have power, on a motion or on its own initiative, to require parties to consider resolving their differences out of court. The paper asks whether respondents agree with this approach, and whether any new rule should expressly refer to a party’s attitude possibly having a bearing on expenses.

The document can be viewed at www.scotcourts.gov.uk/sheriff/rules_council/docs/ADR%20Consultation.pdf. Comments are invited by 27 September. The Society’s Civil Procedure Committee will be responding and asks for members’ views by the end of August so it can take them into consideration.

Contact Fiona J Robb: fjrobb@lawscot.org.uk