The Ministry of Justice is calling for a push on mediation and ADR to resolve property disputes between neighbours and prevent extortionate costs running up in the courts.
Recently, a pair of neighbours, at court with a dispute over a thin strip of land ran up costs of £500,000 and ten days of court time.
The report recommends that parties be urged to use mediation rather than going to court. However, there are questions over how this will work - would legally binding arbitration be needed to make any difference to court delays? It remains to be seen whether these plans will prevent those with money to burn pursuing disputes through the courts. No matter how trivial they may seem.
Hundreds of acrimonious and costly disputes between neighbours would be diverted from courts into mediation under new plans. Judges and ministers are concerned at the excessive legal costs run up by neighbours and the delays caused to courts. which are buckling under the pressure.