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Abstract

The take up of mediation has been relatively slow in the United Kingdom. A study of the mediation pilot at the Central London County Court indicated that in only five percent of cases did the parties agree to mediate. Lack of experience in mediation by lawyers, fear of showing weakness by accepting mediation, and resistance to the idea of compromise were cited as the main reasons for the low take up. Public awareness of ADR in the United Kingdom is also acknowledged to be low. There are wide-ranging efforts to turn this tide. This article provides an overview of the main factors which are either hindering the take up of mediation, or encouraging its use, in non-matrimonial cases in the United Kingdom. It will be shown that much of the recent impetus for ADR has come from Europe-wide initiatives.

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