The Civil Procedural Rules and ADR
· Rule 26.4 of the Civil Procedural Rules (CPR): Enables judges to stop court proceedings where they feel or parties agree that ADR would be more suitable
· Rule 45.5 of the CPR: Under this rule a court can penalise a party who insisted on a court hearing when the case could have been settled more effectively via ADR. Can penalise by awarding no damages, or reducing the amount of damages.
Cases Where the CPR on ADR have been enforced
Dunnett v Railtrack: In this case, the judge recommended the use of mediation. Railtrack refused and went to court. Won in the court of Appeal, however the Court refused to award costs.
Halsey and Steel Cases: In 2004, the Court of Appeal published its decision in the cases of Halsey and Steel. This case provides the most recent and so the most important case law on the subject of ADR.
The judgement in the case established 3 important principles:
· The Courts can’t force parties to use ADR; this would be unfair, breach of parties right to access the court-so a breach of Article 6
· The courts should encourage the use of ADR and recognise that it won’t be suitable for all parties.
· Cost penalties can be used by the courts on parties which have unreasonably refused to consider ADR