• Avinder Laroya

Ministry of Justice Update On Responses To Call For Evidence On Dispute Resolution

Updated: Jul 11



This article provides a brief overview of the recent update from the Ministry of Justice (“MOJ”) reforming the civil, administrative and family litigation process to enable greater access to justice.


This article will review the following:


• Background on why the call to review the dispute resolution process by the MOJ

• What the call for evidence included

• Review of the recent summary of responses following the consultation

• Conclusion and next steps


The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) published its summary of responses to its Call for Evidence on Dispute Resolution in England and Wales. A total of 193 responses to the Call for Evidence were received from all categories of stakeholders across the civil, family, and administrative jurisdictions. Of these, most respondents were dispute resolution providers, representative bodies, legal practitioners, and academics.


1. Background on why the call to review the dispute resolution process by the MOJ


The Call for Evidence on Dispute Resolution in England and Wales was published by the MoJ on 3 August 2021. This was supported by the Master of the Rolls (Sir Geoffrey Vos), the President of the Family Division (Sir Andrew McFarlane), and the Senior President of the Tribunals (Sir Keith Lindblom). The consultation period closed on 31 October 2021.


Although the MoJ recognised that most disputes are already dealt with outside the court system, they proposed the Call for Evidence, intending to shape future reforms to the civil, family, and administrative jurisdictions. This was so that people had more access to justice, by getting the support they need at the right time to achieve a resolution, bringing disputes to a timely close without much frequent need for court-based litigation.


2. What the Call for Evidence included


The Call for Evidence focused on seven key thematic areas which included:


  • Drivers of engagement and settlement. What motivates parties to take part in dispute resolution processes?

  • Quality and outcomes. How effective are such processes at fully resolving issues and achieving compliance compared to using the courts?

  • Dispute Resolution service providers. What standards, training, safeguards for parties and complaints procedures are in place?

  • Finance and economic costs/benefits of dispute resolution systems. What are the costs/benefits compared to using the courts?

  • Technology infrastructure. What works well or creates barriers to justice?

  • Public sector equality duty. How are different types of parties affected (such as unrepresented parties, or those with protected characteristics)?

  • Additional evidence.


3. Review of the recent summary of responses following the consultation


There were a lot of mixed reviews from the respondents and the main points that were raised included the following: