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Identify and comment on the advantages and disadvantages of these alternatives compared to a claim through the civil courts.

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Specimen Examination Questions 1(b) Identify and comment on the advantages and disadvantages of these alternatives compared to a claim through the civil courts Going through the civil courts can be a long, arduous process and many people seek other means of gaining justice. However these means can have disadvantages as well as advantages. Mediation, Negotiation, Conciliation, Arbitration and Tribunals are all routes, which can be taken to avoid going through the courts. Many people avoid civil courts because of the long delays in deciding a case and the costs, which are huge. There is also the fact of formality in courts, which can ruin the relationship between parties and complicate simple disputes, and legal representation, which is expensive, slow, and a factor that increases the formality. However, there are also advantages to going through the civil courts such as the formality that means the parties know what to expect and are therefore prepared; and the legal representation, which means that people have professional assistance in preparing and presenting a case. The delays in the County Court average 20 months and cases, which end up in the High Court, take an average of up to 3-4 years. ...read more.


Civil Courts however, are free for the public to witness; this may make a lot of people unwilling to take their problems to court. An excellent advantage of Arbitration is that the arbitrators are experts in the matter of the dispute and can apply their knowledge effectively. Whereas the majority of the Judiciary in a civil court would perhaps struggle with the complex legal terms and end up deciding a case with very little or no legal experience or expertise. In Tribunals, lay members are appointed for their expertise in the area to which the tribunal relates. This ensures consistency and a good application of legal knowledge. Many independent Mediators and Mediation services report that in more than four out of five cases, the parties are able to settle all issues in dispute to their mutual satisfaction. Compared to court, where the losing party is almost always angry, this can definitely be considered a success. Unlike the courts, Mediation is very informal and this could be seen as part of the reason to why it is so successful. ...read more.


who not only knows far more about this particular product, but has also been trained extensively in negotiating techniques for this exact situation. This makes it hard for the weaker party to put their argument across, leaving them vulnerable, whereas in court a barrister or solicitor could represent them. When discussing Tribunals, there is a clear unfair imbalance between parties that are represented and those that are not. It is unfair to people who cannot afford legal representation and cannot get Legal Aid to come up against a rich corporation. Since richer parties are allowed to employ skilled laypersons, they are consequently more likely to win. Clearly, there are advantages and disadvantages to all of the dispute resolutions including the Civil Courts and so it would be impractical to have some without the others. The ADR's provide cheap and fast options to the Civil Courts; however, it could be argued that disputes are not always fully resolved and that many of the disputes that are resolved are not done so fairly. Hence, it shows that the Court provides a more stable and rewarding sense of justice that cannot be exploited as much as the ADR's can be. ...read more.

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