Independent evaluation

A summary of the research questions and how the evaluation will impact on a mediation.

What is the research that is being carried out?

Dr Jaime Lindsey of the University of Essex (j.t.lindsey@essex.ac.uk)  is the principal investigator undertaking this independent evaluation of mediation in the Court of Protection. The evaluation aims to answer the research questions set out below:
i) What is mediation’s effect on P’s participation in the decision-making process as compared to judicial hearing?

ii) What is mediation’s effect on judicial time as compared to legal proceedings, including judicial hearing?

iii) What is mediation’s effect on costs, including parties’ legal costs and the costs to public bodies, as compared with legal proceedings including judicial hearing?

iv) What is mediation’s effect on other resources of those involved in CoP disputes? For example, to what extent does mediation divert the time of the professionals from front-line services? Does it lead to the resolution of disputes at an early stage when compared to proceedings?

v) What is mediation’s effect on the working relationship between the parties as compared with legal proceedings?

How will the research be carried out and how will it impact on a mediation?

When you appoint your mediator under the scheme, you will be asked to give your consent for your contact details to be provided to the evaluation team. Once you have agreed to this, a member of the evaluation team will contact you to obtain your informed consent to participate in the evaluation and will provide you with further details regarding what the evaluation will involve. Once you have consented to being part of the evaluation, the mediator will inform the evaluation team of the date of the mediation (or whether the case did not proceed to mediation) and when the mediation has been completed.

The first step in the process of mediation is for each of the parties to fill out a pre-mediation questionnaire. This will be provided by the mediator in the pre-mediation stage, and will be shared by the mediator with the evaluation team to analyse. In some cases, the evaluation team will also seek your consent to observe the mediation. After the mediation, the evaluation team will ask you to complete a survey with a number of questions about your experience of the mediation. There may also be additional follow up interviews with participants whose mediations were observed.
If you take part in the survey, interviews or observations, you will be contacted separately by the researchers and be sent consent forms and participation information sheets for those aspects.

The evaluation team are subject to the same rules on confidentiality as the parties and the research [has been given ethical approval on behalf of the University of Essex Research Ethics Committee]. They will therefore not publish any information that has been disclosed in any mediation without anonymising it so that none of the participants can be identified. The findings of the evaluation will be published in a freely available report, academic publications and conference proceedings.

Questions?

If you have a general question about the pilot, please get in touch with Holly Mieville-Hawkins at Enable Law in the first instance.