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English Court of Appeal departs from the rule in Halsey and enables the courts to order ADR

On 29 November 2023, the Court of Appeal in a specially convened panel including the Master of the Rolls, Sir Geoffrey Vos, gave the most significant alternative dispute resolution (ADR) related judgment in the last 20 years.

In Churchill v. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council [2023] EWCA Civ 1416 (Churchill), it was held that the courts have authority to stay proceedings in favour of ADR or non-court-based dispute resolution methods, where it is proportionate to do so and where so doing preserves the essence of the parties’ right to a judicial hearing.

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