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Civil Justice Council opts out of mandatory ADR

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The Civil Justice Council (CJC) working group has published its final report on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and civil justice. 

The CJC’s report stops short of recommending a presumption that parties will agree to ADR as a condition for issuing proceedings – but said it is committed to promoting alternatives to litigation.

The working group had previously said there should be a presumption that in most cases, if parties have not been able to settle a case by the directions stage, they should be required to bring forward proposals for engaging in some form of ADR. The Law Society warned that imposing a requirement of mandatory ADR would ‘frustrate the principle’ that litigants should have unimpeded access to the courts.

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