39 Essex Chambers Barristers instructed to intervene on behalf of CMC, Ciarb and CEDR in Court of Appeal

Edwin Glasgow CBE KC and Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho, have been instructed by Stewarts in Churchill v Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, currently before the Court of Appeal, in which the Civil Mediation Council (“CMC”), the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (“Ciarb”) and the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (“CEDR”) are intervening. They are arguing against the decision in Halsey v Milton Keynes General NHS Trust, in which the Court of Appeal commented that ordering parties to mediate breached Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to a fair trial.

The Court of Appeal is sitting in a special constitution of the Lady Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls and Birss LJ, the Deputy Head of Civil Justice.

This case is significant because until now Courts have been constrained by Halsey, and orders relating to mediation have been predominantly for stays to allow for ADR to take place. Dispute resolution such as mediation is increasingly becoming an integral part of the civil justice system, with the recent introduction of automatic referral to mediation in small claims with a value of less than £10,000. It is the first opportunity for Halsey to be challenged in the Court of Appeal.

In 2021 the Civil Justice Council produced a report setting out its view that making an order for alternative dispute resolution is in fact compatible with Article 6 of the European Human Rights Convention. 

Notwithstanding the fact that, prior to the hearing of the appeal, these three intervening parties had been directed to advance their submissions through those acting for the Bar Council, the full Court invited oral submissions on their behalf.

Edwin Glasgow CBE KC is a leading silk with extensive experience spanning over 55 years and has successfully mediated hundreds of disputes, both domestically and international. He is also a busy arbitrator, accepting appointments from all major institutions including ICC, LCIA, JAMS, SIAC, AFSA. Meanwhile Stricklin-Coutinho is a leading and exceptionally popular senior junior who is a CEDR accredited mediator and mediates in all area of her practice. Glasgow, Stricklin-Coutinho and Stewarts are acting pro-bono. 

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