Socio-Legal Research at UCL Laws
Welcome to the Evaluation
of Automatic Referral to Mediation Website
This project is an evaluation of a policy initiative by the Department for
Constitutional Affairs designed to encourage the use of mediation in the settlement
of civil disputes. The experiment is taking place in the Central London County
Court and is running for a year from April 2004 to March 2005. During that time
a sample of court cases is being randomly selected each month and referred to
mediation by the court. The evaluation of the scheme has been commissioned by
the Department for Constitutional Affairs and will be carried out independently
by a research team from University College London, London School of Economics
and University of Nottingham Business School.
Objectives of Evaluation
- The evaluation will assess the effective use of mediation including
o The cases most suitable for mediation;
o The respective roles of legal representatives and other stakeholders in determining
the path cases take;
o The factors that inhibit and promote participation in court-based mediation;
o Whether there is a relationship between settlement rates at mediation and
cost or experience of mediators.
- The evaluation will compare the use of mediation
with court hearings in relation
o Use of court resources,
o Administrative costs,
o Time take to settle disputes and prospects of future resolution of unsettled
o Users’ satisfaction with mediation as compared with court hearings
o Savings in legal costs from mediation
o Other costs to clients other than payment to others for resolving disputes
The main sources of data collection are interviews with court staff and a mix
of telephone interviews and mail questionnaires with clients, lawyers and mediators;
databases and files collected and held by the court; mediation reports from
The Research Team
The research team comprises the following individuals:
- Hazel Genn, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies in the Faculty of
Laws at University
- Gwyn Bevan, Professor of Management Science in the Department
of Operational Research at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
- Paul Fenn, Norwich Union Professor of Insurance Studies in the University
Nottingham Business School.
- Dr Alec Morton, Lecturer in Operational Research
in the Department of Operational
Research at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Mason, Research Fellow in the Faculty of Laws at University College London.
For queries or further information about the project please contact Marc
or 0207 0605297.
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