The author is a researcher and lecturer in law at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland. He is published widely in the Scottish legal and professional journals and writes a “Specialist Column” on ADR for the Scottish Law Gazette. He is a trained and accredited mediator and a committee member of the Scottish Mediators’ Association.
While the origins of alternative dispute resolution can be traced back for many years in the U.S., in Scotland the concept continues its embryonic journey. This article summarizes some of the recent ADR developments in Scotland and discusses the potential for the future application, growth and proliferation of ADR within the sphere of commercial dispute resolution.
Any discussion or analysis of the state of the development of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) within Scotland must be tempered with the knowledge that exhortations to embrace the concept began only in very recent years. Despite the fact that a conciliatory approach to the resolution of employment disputes has been pursued in Scotland since 1974 through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), a quasi-government organization, it is only over the last decade or so that similar consensual approaches to conflict resolution have received any measure of approbation, at least in any formalized sense, in other dispute areas.