A sustained cull of the Courts in England and Wales is underway. Many provincial Courts are being closed. There has been a huge increase in Court fees, adding to the cost of litigation.
So it is, that in the established Church of England and of Wales, mediation has been referred to twice daily for over 450 years. This is worth mentioning because in the modern multi-cultural and multi-faith society of England, there is a tendency to see mediation as something relatively new and even as an import from the USA, first introduced in the 1980s.
Part 2 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 relates only to construction contracts (as defined in the Act). Yet it has a significance for dispute resolution and a potential impact on future legislation which is remarkable.
To enjoy the benefits of the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 there must be a construction contract in writing. "In writing" is quite widely defined at Section 107 of the Act. A Contract is "in writing" if it is evidenced in writing.
In 1995 I wrote an article entitled "Immediate Arbitration". The idea behind it was to exploit the full flexibility of the arbitration process. Arbitration did not have to be a highly formal, inflexible procedure similar to litigation. It did not have to be deferred until after practical completion.
My purpose is to generate debate. In England, by 1996, the arbitration process had failed the construction industry. This failure spawned the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (HGCRA), which created the statutory right to adjudicate all disputes arising under a very wide range of construction contracts and provided a fast-track system of dispute resolution at relatively low cost compared with arbitration.
As long ago as July 2000, Lord Justice Chadwick in the case of Bouygues (UK) Limited –v- Dahl-Jensen (UK) Limited [BLR 2000, 522] recognised that an Adjudicator’s decision should not be enforced by summary judgment where the Claimant had subsequently gone into insolvent liquidation and where there were claims and cross-claims between the two parties.
It is all too common that Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK experience the negative effects of receiving late payments from their larger counterparts, with the level of late payment owing reportedly standing at £26.8bn in June 2015.
There was relief for some families earlier this month when the CQC published its report on NHS investigations into unexpected patient deaths. It concluded that investigations were poorly handled with too few lessons being learnt on how to prevent future deaths.
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 provides a framework to ensure that the standard entitlement which a child should expect as ‘reasonable provision’ from a deceased parent’s estate is assessed consistently taking into consideration the claimant’s income, outgoings and savings.