Participate in Ciarb’s responses to two UK Government consultations

Ciarb is preparing written responses to two recently published UK Government consultations: 

1) Review of the Arbitration Act 1996 – A second consultation paper. 2) Supporting Earlier Resolution of Private Family Law Arrangements. 

We encourage all Ciarb members with relevant experience, expertise, or information, to share their views and input into our responses. While these are UK consultations, we know from our involvement in policy globally that governments value input and experience from around the world. 

Moreover, Ciarb members working in jurisdictions based on the 1996 Arbitration Act may be affected by the outcome of any changes made and may be able to provide meaningful contributions. Also, there are jurisdictions where family mediation is mandated and we know that your experience is of interest both to the UK and, no doubt, to other jurisdictions considering or already deploying mandatory mediation. 

Please email by 1 May 2023 to register your wish to contribute to either or both consultations. 

Review of the Arbitration Act 1996 - A second consultation paper 

Following the Law Commission’s first consultation on the review of the Arbitration Act 1996, this second consultation focuses on two selected contentious issues. The Law Commission states that it is: 

“…taking the opportunity to revisit two issues which were covered in the first consultation: challenges to an award under section 67 on the basis that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction; and discrimination in the context of arbitration. These two topics are perhaps the most controversial of the topics of potential reform.” 

Ciarb’s member engagement during the first consultation demonstrated the diversity of viewpoints on these two issues. We would welcome further detail and evidence in relation to your views on these issues to inform our response. 

You can find our first response on the Ciarb website. Full information on this second consultation can be found on the Law Commission’s website Read the 9-page summary of the consultation. 

Supporting Earlier Resolution of Private Family Law Arrangements 

This consultation explores the early resolution of family disputes through mediation, including the option of making mediation participation compulsory. The Government wishes: 

“To make sure that, where it is safe and appropriate to do so, parties in private family law disputes make reasonable attempts to mediate and reach solutions before applying to the courts as a last resort. And [they] want to empower judges to hold accountable those who do not engage seriously with mediation, and who draw proceedings out unnecessarily by refusing to reach reasonable settlements. This consultation seeks views on how best [the UK Government] can do that – so that [the UK Government] can better protect families, particularly children, from the harmful effects of lengthy disputes.” 

Full information on this consultation can be found on the Government website. 

For this consultation, Ciarb is seeking perspectives from those working in civil law, family mediation practitioners, and individuals with experience in family mediation in jurisdictions outside the UK. To highlight one of many questions in the consultation, Question 6: “The Ministry of Justice is seeking international perspectives to help guide them towards best practice.” 

Please email to let us know that you wish to contribute by 1 May 2023. You are invited to send a written submission to us direct, which we will consider in our response. Alternatively, if you wish to contribute through a verbal submission, please e-mail the above address to arrange a suitable appointment. 

We encourage you to also respond directly to either or both consultations: 

Review of the Arbitration Act 1996 - A second consultation paper Visit the consultation web page [here] Deadline for responses: 23:59 GMT+1, Monday 22 May 2023. 

[Supporting Earlier Resolution of Private Family Law Arrangements] 
Visit the consultation web page [here] 
Deadline for responses: 23:59 GMT+1, Thursday 15 June 2023.