The Team of the ELI - European Network of Councils of the Judiciary (ENCJ) Joint Project on The Principled Relationship of Formal and Informal Justice through the Courts and Alternative Dispute Resolution met on 12 September in Brussels in order to continue their deliberations.
This followed on from a panel discussion at the Annual Conference devoted to the subject matter of the project. The panel provided a description of the aims and objectives of the Project, which will examine the relationship between formal justice in the traditional courts on the one hand and Alternative Dispute Resolution on the other. The panel was successful in encouraging lively debate on the subject; including a robust exchange of views between Lord Geoffrey Vos, Judge at the English Court of Appeal; and Chris Hodges, Professor of Justice Systems at the University of Oxford. Professor Hodges had been specifically invited by ELI President Diana Wallis to provide an alternative view from outside the project team. Also contributing to the discussion as a member of the project was Ales Zalar, President of the European Centre for Dispute Resolution and former Slovenia Minister of Justice who shared his extensive experience on court annexed mediation.
The outcome of the exchange was entirely positive and resulted in Professor Hodges attending the project working group meeting which was already due to gather in Brussels on Monday morning. Diana Wallis said, 'The project has clearly gained a more rigorous focus as a result of this debate and intervention and that can only be good; this is tangible evidence of how the ELI can function, bringing practice and academia together.’
The Project Team hopes to produce an interim statement later this autumn.
You can find more information about this project here.