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ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN SCOTLAND

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The Scottish Office Central Research Unit has published a research findings summary which examines the nature and e...
The Scottish Office Central Research Unit has published a research findings summary which examines the nature and extent of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Scotland and which identifies the key issues relevant to the future development of ADR.

A survey of those actively involved in ADR in Scotland was conducted involving 67 interviews and 40 questionnaires. Respondents included mediators working in the fields of family, commercial, consumer and community mediation; academics; lawyer mediators; and representatives of professional bodies.

The most common form of ADR in operation currently is mediation and a number of different initiatives have been developed in recent years. (There are currently around 130 trained lawyer mediators operating in Scotland.) However, the study uncovered limited evidence of actual ADR practice in any but the field of family law.

Views as to the reasons for the lack of ADR activity were varied, some thought that both lawyers and the wider public were simply not aware of what ADR involves or that it is available. Others who responded felt that there was evidence of resistance, both from lawyers and the public to the acceptance of ADR.

Training in ADR varies and there is little uniformity across ADR training programmes. Neither is there any external regulation of ADR, although internal regulation mechanisms were in force, to varying degrees, in the different fields of ADR activity.
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