Dispute Resolution

November 30th, 2023 by James Goudie KC

In CHURCHILL v MERTHYR TYDFIL CBC ( 2023 ) EWCA Civ 1416 the Court of Appeal says that a Court may lawfully stay Court proceedings for, or Order, the parties to engage in a non-Court based Dispute Resolution Process, provided that the Order made (1) does not impair the very essence of the Claimant’s right to proceed to a judicial hearing and (2) is proportionate to achieving the legitimate aim of settling the dispute fairly, quickly and at reasonable cost. The Court declined to lay down principles as to what will be relevant in determining the question of a stay of proceedings or an Order that the parties engage in a non-court based dispute resolution procedure. The kind of non-court based dispute resolution procedure in issue was an internal Complaints Procedure operated by the local authority to which the Claimant was not contractually bound.

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