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Alternative Dispute Resolution

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´╗┐Alternative Dispute Resolution Sometimes the courts are not the most appropriate places to resolve civil disputes as they may not produce the most satisfactory outcome. Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to methods of resolving disputes without going to court. This has proved to be effective and a necessary alternative over the years. Resolving disputes via the fixed legal framework of court hearings may be inappropriate if parties prefer to be in control. The aggressive atmosphere in courts may divide the parties involved which may be detrimental if there is a need to sustain relationships. Judges may not have the technical knowledge required and would bring in expert witnesses. ...read more.


Hearings in Tribunals are less formal and less intimidating. Each side is expected to put its case, but wigs and gowns are usually not worn and the strict rules of evidence are not applied. However, it is possible for individuals to be sentenced for contempt of court. In the case of Peach Grey v Sommers, R claimed wrongful dismissal by his employer and sought to put some pressure on relevant witnesses. The court held that interference with witnesses in current proceedings before a tribunal amounts to contempt of court. Hence, R was sent to prison for a month. This shows that tribunals can benefit (effectively exercise) ...read more.


As panels play a more interventionist role rather than enforcing solutions, they may be more effective in reaching a satisfactory outcome for the case. However, appeals made may only be made on a point of law. In Yeboah v Crofton, the local government officer complained racial discrimination and the Employment Tribunal found in his favour. The decision was reversed by the Employment Appeal Tribunal but was restored by Court of Appeal. This is a weakness(ineffectiveness) of the tribunal system as litigants would have been able to appeal through the various methods provided in courts. The speed and informality may lead to poor decisions being made. The doctrine of precedent is not followed, hence it is unpredictable. This may also lead to suspicion of the fairness in tribunals. This shows that tribunals may not necessarily be the better alternative to courts. ...read more.

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