Settle While You Can: Judicial Incentives to Encourage Settlement

Settle While You Can: Judicial Incentives to Encourage Settlement
22 March 2017, 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR

Speaker: Diana Richards, Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies


Prof Linda Mulcahy (LSE), leading expert on dispute resolution

Dr John Sorabji (UCL), Principal Legal Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice and Master of the Rolls

Dr Jessica Jacobson, (Birkbeck, University of London), Director, Institute of Criminal Policy Research

Prof Penny Darbyshire (Kingston), expert on judicial behaviour

Dr Sue Prince (Exeter), member of the CJC Advisory Group on Online Dispute Resolution

Dr Masood Ahmed (Leicester), member of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee

Dr Nourit Zimerman, Director, ERC research project on Judicial Conflict Resolution (JCR) to introduce the project


This roundtable aims to reunite researchers, judges and policymakers in order to explore the current instruments judges have and use in encouraging settlements. For the purposes of this discussion, settlement is seen as broadly as possible:

  • dispute resolution between parties in civil cases, both in and out-of-court (but court-related) (e.g. court mediation schemes, early neutral evaluation, part 36 offers, costs sanctions); 
  • agreements and negotiations in criminal cases (e.g. encouragement of plea bargaining, advance sentence indications, restorative justice);
  • technological innovations (e.g. online dispute resolution).  

The roundtable was inspired by an international research project funded by the European Research Council, which currently takes place in England and Wales, Israel and Italy. The project aims to explore the different policies, instruments and practices judges can use in resolving and containing disputes, as well as in minimising court proceedings.

Diana Richards, IALS Associate Research Fellow, was the UK research lead in this project in 2015/2016. She will open the session with a short presentation of results of the preliminary mapping of settlement instruments currently found in England and Wales. They will serve as starting points for the roundtable.

A few questions: Are these instruments actually used in English courts? How widespread is their use? Do they bring about the desired change? What is their history and evolution over time? What similar instruments exist in other jurisdictions?

Please note that this roundtable will be audiorecorded for research purposes, under the Chatham House rule.  The recording will only be available afterwards to speakers and panel discussants for research purposes.

REGISTRATION: This seminar is free but those wishing to attend are asked to book in advance.


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