The Master’s Lecture

The Annual Master’s Lecture was held on 30 March 2022 when the Master of the Rolls, the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Vos delivered the Lecture about mediation.

Sir Geoffrey is the President of the Civil Division of the Civil Justice System.

He touched on voluntary as against mandatory use of mediation in disputes brought before the Courts.  Noting that there had been a review that mandatory mediation did not restrict the citizen’s civil liberties, he set out an ambitious vision for the civil justice system.

Given the range of matters that come before the Courts it was planned that there would be different routes for a litigant to follow which would be defined but at first instance this might be by area of law and the size of the dispute.

The way forward would focus on resolution. AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be engaged to identify the best techniques to advance that resolution be it mediation, neutral evaluation a court hearing or early intervention.

It will soon be mandatory in civil dispute for disputes with a value of less than £500 to be subject to mandatory mediation. The mediators are expected to be employees of the Court Service who will telephone the parties.

Research continues to best identify the way forward in respect of ADR resolution, ADR resolution integrated with the Courts, taking account of European best practice and maps for models for consumer disputes to name but a few.

This note is a short summary of a wide-ranging examination of the future for civil litigation incorporating mediation, as explored by Sir Geoffrey.

The Company is grateful to Rathbones Investment Managers for their sponsorship of the event.

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