Essay on The Pros and Cons of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Essay on The Pros and Cons of Alternative Dispute Resolution

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This essay will provide a detailed examination of what Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is, particularly mediation, the various techniques of ADR, the advantages and disadvantages of ADR; and whether or not courts should have the authority to compel individuals into undertaking mediation or other forms of ADR. This essay argues against courts having the power to compel litigants into mediation but may be afforded powers to encourage parties to go through mediation at first instance. This essay will base its arguments on whether courts should compel civil litigants to follow the ADR route upon the perceived advantages of ADR and its success rate. The contention of this essay is not that mediation is inappropriately used to settle disputes, but that court-ordered mediation is inappropriate.

I will begin with a brief overview of Alternative Dispute Resolution, its advantages and disadvantages and focus primarily on mediation. The next section will explain the process of mediation and then go on to give reasons as to why court-ordered mediation is inappropriate.


ADR is a term generally used to refer to informal dispute resolution processes in which the parties meet with a professional third party (not a judge in his professional capacity and sometimes more than one third party) who helps them resolve their disputes in a way that is less formal and often more consensual than is done in the courts . Goldberg, Green and Sander , identifies four separate goals of ADR; to relieve the court congestion as well as undue cost and delay; to enhance community involvement in dispute resolution process; to facilitate access to justice; and to provide more effective dispute resolution. The concept of ADR is extremely broad. Defini...


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...72–73 (1997).
Roselle L. Wissler, The Effects of Mandatory Mediation: Empirical Research on the Experience of Small Claims and Common Pleas Court, 33 WILLAMETTE L. REV. 565, 565 (1997) .
Spangler, Brad. “Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). “Beyond Intractability. Eds. Guy Burgees and Heidi Burgees. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: June 2003
S. GOLDBERG, E. GREEN, & F. SANDER, DISPUTE RESOLUTION 503 (1985)
Sir Rupert Jackson, Review of Civil Litigation Costs: Final Report (2009), ch 21, para 4.2
Stevens H. Clarke & Elizabeth Ellen Gordon, Public Sponsorship of Private Settling: Court-Ordered Civil Case Mediation,19 JUST. SYS. J. 311, 336 (1997).
The Lord Chancellors Dep’t, Alternative Dispute Resolution, A discussion Paper, Annex B (Nov. 1999) available at http://www.dca.gov.uk/consult/civ-just/adr/annexbfr.htm

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