Thanks to Laurie Anstis an associate solicitor practicing employment law at UK firm Boyes Turner who wrote following my post Ontario’s chief justice discusses judicial mediation to say that a judicial mediation in employment cases pilot project was undertaken in three regions of England – Newcastle, Central London and Birmingham.
The official report, Evaluating the use of judicial mediation in Employment Tribunals, recommended that judicial mediation be discontinued in these cases. Specifically, while acknowledging some positive feedback, it was observed that:
However, we could find no discernable, statistically significant effect for the impact of judicial mediation on (i) rates of cases settled within a set time period or (ii) resolution that avoids a hearing. Outcomes from judicial mediation were not significantly better (statistically) than those from a matched control group of unmediated cases that expressed an interest in mediation. The rate of cases resolved without a hearing was:
❑ 57% for mediated cases;
❑ 61% for unmediated/interested cases; and
❑ 54% for unmediated/uninterested cases.
The Report concluded that:
Based on the findings of this study, judicial mediation was an expensive process to administer and cannot be offset by the estimated benefits (both direct and indirect) of the process. Therefore, it was not recommended that the service be rolled-out to other areas of the ETS in its current form.
I am not familiar with the manner in which employment cases are dealt with or processed in the U.K. (I note that the pilot was for Employment Tribunal "discrimination cases started between June 2006 and March 2007"). In Ontario, discrimination cases (typically) are dealt with at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal where mediation by Vice-Chairs is part of the process and is quite effective in many cases.
That said, the Report is tremendously valuable as we consider, in this province, embarking on some form of judicial mediation.
Thanks Laurie for the information.