Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday Review: Spring break

It's been a pretty quiet week thus far. No doubt many took the rest of the week off after the bank holiday to enjoy the school Spring break with their children, although with the rain we've had they're probably regretting it.

OK, there have been a couple of new judgments, but they have been of the 'published because of transparency guidance' sort, rather than because they are of any real interest, save to those involved.

We did have the story in The Independent of the letter that Grant Thornton's lawyers wrote to Mr Justice Moor, criticising him for his findings in the Young case. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of Mr Justice Moor's chambers when he read that. I would also be very interested to read his 'robust response'. Incidentally, the story informs us that Michelle Young is still awaiting her £20 million lump sum. Now there's a surprise.

Otherwise, I enjoyed this article by Rachel Rothwell in the Gazette, in which she argues that the government should fix the courts system, rather than continually push ADR. I couldn't agree more. ADR is not a panacea, a cheap alternative to court. As she says, compromise isn't always appropriate: "sometimes one party really is entirely in the right, and they need their day in court to have their position vindicated, and their costs paid by their opponent". In any event, the issue has never been about those people who settle their disputes outside of court (they have of course always done this, long before the initialism 'ADR' was first coined) - the issue is those cases that can't be settled, where the court is required to step in. If we don't have a court system to do this, how will such disputes be resolved? As one of the commenters to the article says, it's time for the government to stop flogging the dead horse of mediation as a direct alternative to court.

And that is about it. If you're on holiday, enjoy the rest of your break (hopefully the sun will make a late appearance). If you're not on holiday, enjoy the coming weekend anyway.

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