Neuberger urges caution on mediation

The rise in the use of mediation carries risks, the Master of the Rolls has warned. Delivering the inaugural Gordon Slynn memorial lecture, Lord Neuberger said: “Mediation is a complement to, but must never be a substitute for, justice.

“I think that there is a real question whether a concerted drive for an ever-expanding role for mediation, and indeed treating mediation as good and litigation as bad, is consistent with a commitment to equal access to justice.”

He warned that if mediation and alternative dispute resolution expanded then court fees were likely to fall, which would jeopardise the ability of the civil justice system to maintain its self-financing status. Consequently, either court fees would rise, further restricting access, or the civil justice system would be reliant on the Treasury.