Alternative Dispute Resolution In The Canadian Criminal Justice System

Submitted By kmarra189
Words: 2628
Pages: 11

Canada’s justice system is very well constructed and has the ability to solve many conflicts between two or more parties. The justice system has been around for a long time, it has not been until recent years that different forms of dispute resolution have been incorporated into the justice system. One in particular is the concept of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Arguments are inevitable, and happen no matter who you are or where you live. Arguments are a way to help solve misunderstandings between others. In time there may be an argument that erupts that leads two parties to court in order to resolve the problem. In going to court, both parties are represented by lawyers, are given a court date and depend on a judge to make the final decision. Going to court can be both costly and time consuming for both parties. To avoid both, Canada as a society has come up with another way to solve problems, that tactic thought up is known as ADR. ADR allows individuals who are involved in a dispute to try and go through stages of dispute resolution without going to court. By using ADR, the Canadian Criminal Justice System cannot only benefit from it, but also it can learn from it. The steps used by ADR are clear and understandable, they not only allow for better understanding of the parties involved, they make sure both parties are heard before the final decision is made. Therefore, the criminal justice system should move towards an increased use of ADR as a dispute resolution tactic alongside the traditional adversarial system. Throughout this essay I will discuss the nature and content of ADR, and evaluate the key arguments in both favor and opposed to ADR. This paper will ultimately propose the adaption of a hybrid system composed of elements of both the adversarial system and principles of ADR.
Alternative Dispute Resolution, more commonly known, as ADR is a form of problem solving that takes place outside of the regular justice system. Some aspects to ADR are that it is another way for two parties to solve their dispute without having it go to the court system. ADR works with the parties to ensure that the conflict they are in becomes resolved in a relatively quickly manner. ADR can be understood as a consisting range of processes that are accompanied by traditional legal approaches (V&N). In other words ADR tries to diverge individuals to coming to this alternative
The four key practices in ADR are negotiation, mediation, arbitration and adjudication. These four steps show a process in which argumentative parties can take to when trying to resolve a conflict; the first step the parties can indulge in is the process of negotiation. Negotiation only involves the two parties which then they discuss among themselves what the plan of action will be when it comes to deciding a specific outcome. For instance if one of them hit the others car while parked, a negotiation would be discussed when it came to who would pay the damages to the vehicle. The second approach is the concept of mediation. This tactic is used when two parties cannot reach a specific agreement. In doing so, a neutral third party enters the dispute to regulate conversation and to hear both sides of the story. The job of the mediator is to listen to the information told by both parties and to not engage or forthwith any input in any way towards the final decision. The third approach taken when it comes to ADR is the idea of arbitration. Arbitration can either be seen as binding or non-binding towards the parties involved. When a dispute is happening, a third party is called in to make the final decision. The parties have the ability to go along with what the third party suggests, or they can go in the opposite direction and completely dismay what is offered to them and try another decision making process.
Once the processes of ADR have been exhausted it then goes to adjudication. Adjudication is the absolute last possible way to get a dispute resolved.