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Court-connected mediation practice in perspective

Agapiou, Andrew (2016) Court-connected mediation practice in perspective. In: Court-Connected Construction Mediation Practice. CIB . Routledge, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781138810105

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Court-connected mediation has steadily expanded its scope in many Anglo-American jurisdictions over the past 20 years.1 Its growth has been spurred by diverse factors that include mediations' greater perceived cost-effectiveness when compared with conventional civil litigation, coupled with corresponding public, judicial and legal professional interest in the greater participant control mediation permits. This growth has been particularly evident in commercial dispute resolution, where business pragmatism is a further spur to finding mediated solutions. Using the England and Wales (EW hereafter) civil procedure rules (CPR) mediation provisions as a commencement point,2 this opening chapter critically assesses the widening range of court-connected mediation possibilities available within the commercial disputes resolution sphere. In the first section, key mediation theory principles are identified and explained. From here, the EW commercial mediation-rules framework is considered, as a means to introduce other comparative Anglo-American jurisdiction analyses. Cases and commentaries provide additional support for the contention that court-connected mediation bondaries are limitless, in the sense that no commercial mediation dispute is likely unsuited to a mediation attempt. The third section offers a brief prediction concerning mediation's likely future scope, where mediation will be the accepted first formal step in every commercial dispute. The conclusions section affirm the proposition that those cases where mediation fails are now regarded by many commentators as exceptions that tend to prove the rule asserted in this assessment.