Monday, February 16, 2015

A cumbersome, time-consuming & costly civil justice system

… but families are composed of people, not IT systems

Commenting on today’s Civil Justice Council report which recommends establishing Online Dispute Resolution, the CEO of National Family Mediation, Jane Robey, said:

“In making its recommendations for Online Dispute Resolution, the Civil Justice Council has rightly drawn attention to a civil justice system that is too often cumbersome and time-consuming for the public, and costly to the public purse.

“If implemented, this report’s recommendations could represent an important step in pulling the civil justice system by its bootstraps into the 21st century.

“As the leading family mediation provider in England and Wales we are keen to promote cheaper, quicker, less stressful methods for disputes to be settled, and it is in that spirit that we welcome today’s report.

“We agree with the report’s recommendation that in time an internet-based court service could be extended to suitable family disputes.

“It is important to be clear, however, that whilst online resolution might help sort out the nub of many issues, it is usually better for children if their parents can maintain some sort of face-to-face relationship after their separation. If the process of resolving family disputes were to become purely an online one, then the prospect of maintaining human contact could be diminished.

“Families are composed of people, not IT devices. We need to remain mindful of this as systems are developed.”

The Civil Justice Council report, Online Dispute Resolution for low value civil claims, is available here.

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