Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative to traditional courts’ dispute resolution is not new. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) also called External Dispute Resolution (EDR) is known in some countries such as Australia. Also some courts have now adopted the ADR and insist that some disputes should first go through the mediation process.
Moreover, the European Mediation Directive (2008) endorses dispute settlement through mediation. But why have external dispute resolution method been popular in recent times. Totaro (2010) suggests the factors that have made ADR increasingly popular are rising caseload of traditional courts, cost effective, maintenance of confidentiality, and greater control of disagreeing parties over choice of dispute settlers.
Indeed, some senior judges in England and Wales strongly favour the use of mediation to settle disputes.
However, in what way is the ADR different from the OCRR? While to a large extent, the OCRR possesses features similar to those of the ADR; the former differs from the latter in some respects.
The OCRR has no formal tribunals, no private judges, no formal meditative process referrals for mediation before a court, and no penal powers.