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Jeremy's Blog 9th July 2020: Dispute Resolution

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 9th July 2020.

Much of members’ work is about advising and negotiating for parties to achieve an agreement. Sometimes it needs a third party to help them or to decide the matter. That is dispute resolution. That help may come from early neutral evaluation or from a mediator; the answer may come from an expert or an arbitrator.

With the Agriculture Bill’s proposal for the President of the CAAV to have statutory status for tenancy arbitration appointments in England and Wales, encouraged by the views of farming and landowning organisations, we have used much time this spring to develop the CAAV’s approach to dispute resolution in general as:

  • broader than arbitration, covering all approaches
  • broader than agricultural tenancies, across the rural economy
  • broader than England and Wales, across the United Kingdom

This is not only about those resolving disputes but also those advising parties, advocates and expert witnesses, and, prior to that, those in negotiations, all acting as professionals to help businesses and people find answers that allow life to move on.

However and prompted by the immediate need to respond to the Bill, the CAAV has been looking particularly at refreshing arbitration, to ensure it is held in proper regard as a means to help parties have matters settled.

Yesterday’s CAAV Council, with 51 members in a Zoom call for 6 hours, approved the results of that work, including:

  • the CAAV Dispute Resolution Charter
  • Appropriate Arbitration, setting out the CAAV’s approach and the tools that an arbitrator can have under the relevant Arbitration Act to act robustly to reach a fair, timely and cost-effective answer
  • now asking for applications to join the CAAV’s Panel of Arbitrators - the form and guidance for this very shortly available
  • seeking interest from those who would like to prepare to be an arbitrator or have other roles in dispute resolution.

A full Numbered Publication, Rural Arbitration in the United Kingdom, is to follow to sit with Means of Dispute Resolution and Mediation.

Preparing to be ready for the Bill, we are now moving to have a Panel of Arbitrators, later one of Mediators. With the first step as the webinar on 16th July on Dispute Resolution, we are now looking at promotion and training to support this work, from utilities disputes to business contracts, which we see as ripe for members. For more details about the Dispute Resolution in the Countryside Webinar and to book, please go to the Events page on the website.

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