Dispute resolution

Increasing use of mediation in the civil justice system – Law Society response

Under government proposals, mediation will be compulsory in most civil small claims (up to £10,000). Send us your views on whether there should be any exemptions by Friday 9 September.

The proposals

All defended small claims would be automatically stayed for 28 days and referred to the Small Claims Mediation Service for a free appointment with a court-trained mediator.

Under current proposals, parties would be required to take part, even if they do not wish to.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is seeking views on whether there should be:

  • any exemptions for types of case or individual circumstances
  • more comprehensive regulation or accreditation of the civil mediation sector 

Our view

We're considering the proposals and how we'll respond.

While mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) should be used wherever appropriate, we do not support the compulsory use of mediation where it may be:

  • detrimental to either party, or
  • prevent access to justice

See our past response on mandatory mediation

What this means for solicitors

The MoJ hopes its proposals will result in up to 20,000 extra cases a year settling away from court and free up to 7,000 judicial sitting days for more complex cases.

Get involved

Email your feedback to CivilJusticePolicy@lawsociety.org.uk by Friday 9 September, and we'll consider your views in our consultation response.

Alternatively, you can respond directly to the MoJ by 11.59pm on Tuesday 4 October.

Next steps

The consultation closes on 4 October 2022.

Read the consultation

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