A dispute resolution centre for Wales has been launched today by the Dispute Resolution Centre Wales (DRC Wales) – initiated by the Law Council of Wales.
Alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) methods, including mediation, evaluation, adjudication and arbitration can play a pivotal role in achieving the best outcomes in resolving disputes and in relieving pressures on the court and tribunal systems.
A working group to establish the viability of the DRC Wales was established with Jonathan Rees KC, a member of the Law Council of Wales, as its Chair.
The group has recruited a range of members from different sectors and with differing pockets of expertise. They include mediators, arbitrators, evaluators, adjudicators, academics, public sector and third sector professionals, as well as practising barristers and solicitors. The working party also includes senior members of the Judiciary in Wales.
Members of the group will speak at the Legal Wales Conference 2023 on Friday 6 October in Cardiff about the Centre, it’s ambitions and scope of work.
DRC Wales is committed to promoting ADR in all its guises throughout Wales and beyond. The Centre has been launched as both civil and family jurisdictions grapple with encouraging and in some instances, mandating, the use of ADR. DRC Wales has ambitions to see an internationally respected centre of excellence develop in Wales.
DRC Wales conducts its activities under three core themes:
- promotion, education, and research;
- co-ordination; and
DRC Wales’ Founding Member and Chair Jonathan Rees KC has said:
“The ambitions of DRC Wales have been deliberately set high: to help establish recognised and universal standards for dispute resolution professionals and promote a coordinated system for all forms of dispute resolution in Wales.
”We want the approach to dispute resolution in Wales to become the gold standard for the UK and beyond.”
Siân Mirchandani KC, FCIArb, added:
”I am delighted to be involved with the Dispute Resolution Centre Wales. Resolving disputes out of court is key to the future of our justice system. DRCW has the ambition to be the standard bearer from promoting dispute resolution in Wales and beyond.”
The Dispute Resolution Centre Wales has a Pledge which is centred around promoting and encouraging diversity, awareness and the use of modern, creative and constructive approaches to dispute resolution in Wales.
For the Dispute Resolution Centre Wales foundation document, click here.
For more information, stay updated via the DRC Wales Twitter account.
The background to this project started with The Commission on Justice In Wales, also known as the Thomas Commission, which was set up by the Welsh Government in 2017 to review the justice system in Wales. As a result of this, the Law Council of Wales was established. The Commission recommended ADR as a positive method for resolving disputes in public and private law. The Law Council of Wales have thereafter been instrumental in convening the working group which is now driving forward DRC Wales.
The accountancy firm MHA, with offices in Cardiff and Swansea, has kindly agreed to act as the accountant for the project and has assisted in setting up DRC Wales as a company limited by guarantee with the dual language name Dispute Resolution Centre Wales Canolfan Datrys Anghydfodau Cymru Ltd.