Canadian Forum on Civil Justice

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In our August 1996 Task Force on Systems of Civil Justice report to the Canadian Bar Association one of our primary recommendations was to encourage early and continuing non-binding dispute resolution to assist in achieving settlements as early as possible in the litigation process. The report stated at page 32, "The Task Force is persuaded that a focus on early consensual resolution of disputes holds the greatest promise for reducing costs and delays" and, as we made clear in our first recommendation, we wanted every jurisdiction to make available "opportunities for litigants to use non-binding dispute resolutions processes as early as possible in the litigation process." We envisaged that non-binding dispute resolution processes (or "ADR") would form an integral component of the civil justice system, that the courts would supervise the progress and pace of cases in a manner that would focus on early and ongoing settlement and that all participants in the civil justice system would have training, skills and obligations to help make ADR effective.

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