The University of Hull is to re-launch its legal Mediation Centre, with the help of one of the most senior and respected judges in England.
The Mediation Centre will be available to local businesses and individuals in need of mediation services to solve civil law disputes such as consumer, tenancy or employment problems.
Re-launched through a foundational contract with Hull City Council, it will provide final-year law students at the University of Hull with real-world experience of mediation to accompany their studies, helping them to stand out from the competition after graduating.
A special launch event to mark the re-launch of the Mediation Centre will take place on Friday, 26 March, and feature The Right Honourable Sir Geoffrey Vos MR, Master of the Rolls.
Mike Varney, Head of the Law School at the University of Hull, said: “Re-launching our Mediation Centre will provide students with the opportunity to gain invaluable experience and skills, at the same time helping to resolve real disputes between parties.
“This builds on existing options already available to law students at Hull, including our own Legal Advice Centre, which gives final-year students experience in fields including consumer, housing, employment and family law.
“We are incredibly proud to be working alongside Hull City Council on the Mediation Centre, for the benefit of both our students and the wider community.”
Mediation is a form of dispute resolution under civil law, which avoids parties having to attend court.
The University’s Mediation Centre will be available to those who have need of mediation services to solve disputes, using a qualified ADR (alternate dispute resolution) specialist and with student observers.
This is an important development in enhancing students’ legal educational experience to include means of dispute resolution other than the courts.
Diana Wallis, Director of the Mediation Service and a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Hull, said: “We are delighted to announce that The Right Honourable Sir Geoffrey Vos MR, Master of the Rolls, will be speaking at the re-launch of our Mediation Centre.
“As the second most senior judge in the country, Sir Geoffrey has previously indicated the important role of ADR options such as mediation in beating the backlog of cases which threatens to overwhelm the civil justice system, especially post-pandemic.
“He has also been supportive of ADR options being more fully integrated into of the existing civil justice system.
“We look forward to hearing him share his internationally-recognised insight into mediation and disputes.”
The Master of the Rolls is the second most senior judge in England and Wales after the Lord Chief Justice.
As President of the Court of Appeal’s Civil Division, the Master of the Rolls is responsible for the deployment and organisation of the work of the judges of the division as well as presiding in its courts, often hearing the most complex cases across the full range of civil, family and tribunal matters.
The re-launch event will be presented by Diana Wallis.
As Director of the Mediation Service and former President of the European Law Institute, Diana in 2016 led with Sir Geoffrey Vos a joint project of the ELI and ENCJ on the relationship between Formal & Informal Justice.
Ian Anderson, Hull City Council’s Director of Law and Partnerships, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the relaunch of the Mediation Centre which is a valuable resource for the people of Hull and the city’s law students.
“It also helps to improve the Council’s service to people of Hull, allowing residents to draw on the expertise of the Mediation Centre as part of the Corporate Feedback Scheme.”
Law has been taught at the University of Hull since 1927.
Staff are at the forefront of research, scholarship and teaching and the University’s programmes offer a wide range of options which are informed, developed and taught by experts in their respective fields.