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Chapter

Although there is no formally agreed definition of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), it is generally accepted as including all methods of resolving disputes other than through formal litigation. The use of ADR has developed significantly over the past few decades and despite the use of the word ‘alternative’ it is now very much part of mainstream thinking in modern-day dispute resolution. The importance of ADR to civil actions was reinforced by the Civil Procedure Rules in 1998, which emphasized it as part of the overriding objective, encouraged at all stages of the dispute process, from pre-action to after litigation has commenced. This is reinforced by sanctions that a court can impose on a party which fails properly to embrace the process. The Review of Civil Litigation Costs carried out by Jackson LJ further promoted the importance and use of ADR. There are many different forms of ADR, both adjudicative and non-adjudicative. This chapter will focus on the use of mediation as a non-adjudicative form of ADR and the steps the courts take to require (rather than compel) the parties to attempt to resolve their disputes.