I am very grateful to Diana Wallis for having invited me to deliver this talk at the re-launch of Hull University’s Mediation Centre. It is very exciting to hear that the Centre will have a contract with Hull City Council so that students can observe and be engaged in the provision of the neutral third-party element for the Council’s existing customer complaints process.
I think, as you have heard, that the title of this talk arose from the fact that Diana Wallis and I were involved in the production of a joint report in 2017 for the European Law Institute (of which she was President) and the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (of which I was President) entitled “The Relationship between Formal and Informal Justice: the Courts and Alternative Dispute Resolution”.
That report set out in 21 carefully formulated principles a rather grandly entitled “Statement of European Best Practice in relation to the approach that Courts and Judges should adopt in interacting with all types of ADR processes”. But, since then, things have certainly moved on in the UK at least. I will explain.