Revelations of improper conduct at Westminster have taken over the headlines. Allegations against MPs has left officials urgently reviewing processes to tackle the issues. Commons Speaker John Bercow called for change amid “disturbing” allegations about a “culture of sexual harassment.”
As part of the a effort to tackle the issues, Theresa May has asked for the Speaker John Bercow to introduce a new mediation service and a contractually-binding grievance procedure for MPs and staff wanting to raise concerns about MPs behaviour, as well as making the current voluntary grievance procedure compulsory.
Theresa May sees the value of mediation as an approach to resolving disputes. Mediation Information Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) are already mandatory in family law cases and in construction cases, the pre-action protocol requires a meeting between the parties before issuing proceedings. A recent report from the Civil Justice Council (CJC) supported the case for extending compulsory Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in all cases. Globally, mediation is becoming accepted as an effective method to manage the huge backlog of court cases and resolve disputes in a way that works for all parties involved.
I understand what mediation can achieve, as I have seen first-hand the benefits it can bring. Mediation not only helps to avoid further strain on our justice system, it enables parties to work together to come to a solution that works for everyone. It can also help to preserve ongoing relationships, through the spirit of collaboration.