Court-referred alternative dispute resolution and judicial education in Australia: perspectives from the bench

Nicky McWilliam*, Jennifer Tridgell, Hannah Bell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing upon a study examining the perspectives of 104 Australian judges (including magistrates), this article explores judges' perceptions of their understanding and education of Court-Referred Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR). While CADR is increasingly recognised as part of a judge's role, levels of formal alternative dispute resolution training are low in Australia. Nevertheless, judges frequently learn about CADR processes in other ways, particularly practical experience in their legal careers before and after their appointment to the Bench. Judicial perspectives on the level of understanding required and the relevance of CADR often vary depending on cultural and other factors, including court level and type of matters. These factors significantly influence judicial engagement with CADR and, consequently, their knowledge and experience of CADR. By listening to judicial perspectives on CADR education, whether its successes or shortfalls, the Australian judicial system can effectively shape CADR policy in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938-950
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Law Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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