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Justice, fairness and mediation
Justice, fairness and mediation

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4 Alternative approaches to dispute resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a collective term for any means of resolving a legal dispute that is not through what might be considered to be a traditional court or tribunal process. Typically used in relation to civil law cases, it is not normally used in criminal law cases.

Activity 3 What is ‘alternative’ about ADR?

Timing: Allow 5 minutes

Think about the term ‘alternative dispute resolution’. Why do you think it is ‘alternative’?

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ADR is an alternative as it provides a different means of resolving a legal dispute rather than using the traditional means of going to court or tribunal. It can also be thought of as being ‘alternative’ as the processes are different from those used in courts and tribunals. Given the extent to which ADR has now become a mainstream approach to resolving legal disputes, the extent to which it really is ‘alternative’ could be questioned.