Tue 07 Jul 2020

Mediation (Scotland) Bill Update

We reported earlier in the month that the policy proposal for the Mediation (Scotland) Bill had been produced by Margaret Mitchell MSP.  

It included an introduction of a mandatory, court-initiated process for considering mediation in Simple Procedure cases at the Sheriff Court, which was a welcome and longed-for development by those who appreciate the advantages that mediation can bring to resolving disputes.

Since then, we have learned that it is unlikely to be considered by the relevant Parliamentary Committee before March 2021.The Bill it would have provided some much-needed easing of the pressure on courts in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as a more consistent approach towards mediation in Simple Procedure cases.

However, although the progress of the Bill is slower than had been anticipated, this is certainly not reflective of the pace in the wider mediation community.  Thanks to Scottish Mediation and other mediation groups, significant progress has been made in recent months to raise awareness of mediation and some mediators have swiftly responded to the challenge of the lockdown by transferring their services online. Remote mediation a rapidly growing service, provides parties to a dispute with an easy to use, accessible and quick method of resolving disputes at a time when in-person meetings are not possible and courts are unable to operate as normal.


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