One of the most interesting insights from the Global Pound Conference Series survey related to how we can improve access to justice in the world of commercial dispute resolution.
When asked what factors would have the most impact on future policy making, it was clear that efficiency and enforceability were the driving factors.
The next best factor was demand for increased uniformity and standardisation with 24%, with transparency scoring 22%. There was a broad consensus among all the delegates on this.
So what does this mean in terms of actionable steps? When voting for enforceability, it is likely that the delegates were contemplating non-adjudicative processes such as mediation. The concept of a New York Convention on the enforceability of mediated settlement was a popular notion throughout the survey.
Enforceability goes hand in hand with efficiency as improved enforcement mechanisms would help save parties significant time and costs.
The delegates were undivided in their belief that education at both a school and business level would do the most to improve awareness of options for dispute resolution.
It was thought that mandating non-adjudicative dispute resolution and introducing procedural requirements would be less effective.
Less clear was what should be a priority for governments and policy makers in improving access to justice.
Edging the votes with a score of 48% was introducing pre-dispute or early stage case evaluation and assessment systems, followed closely by using protocols to promote non-adjudicative processes and mandating such processes e.g. through an opt-out approach.
Interestingly, the answers given varied between groups of delegates. Parties voted overwhelmingly for pre-dispute procedures, whereas arbitrators and adjudicative providers felt that legislation on the enforcement of settlements was more important.
The GPC series heads to Paris this week, with many more conferences planned before the grand finale in London.
Data will continue to be collected and a full report and analysis will be published at that time.
How do you think can we best improve access to justice in commercial dispute resolution? Share your thoughts in the comments below.