Whatever your discipline, please contribute to this important survey into use of, and attitudes to, arbitration, the organisers ask

We are now more than six years on from the coming into effect of the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010. Our first survey reported on the 12 month period to 30 June 2014. Given the confidential nature of arbitration, it is important to obtain fresh information to understand how many arbitrations are taking place, what types of disputes are going to arbitration, attitudes to arbitration, and the changes that might be encouraged to the practice of arbitration in Scotland to improve confidence in the process.

The Scottish Arbitration Survey is a joint initiative by the University of Aberdeen, the Law Society of Scotland and Burness Paull, supported by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Scottish Arbitration Centre, to collect data and report on arbitration use, attitudes and trends.

Arbitration is a process for determination of disputes by an appropriate person of skill. It has played a significant role in the resolution of property disputes and, alongside adjudication, of construction and projects disputes. It is also used, for instance, in family dispute resolution and there are current initiatives by the Faculty of Advocates to develop the use of arbitration in the resolution of personal injury disputes. It provides opportunities to resolve disputes using appropriate persons of skill in other sectors where it is currently less used. The starting point to achieve a greater diversity for the use of arbitration, is an understanding of the particular needs of different end users.

A second survey is important at this juncture, to understand trends and how the process of arbitration is developing over time.

Those who choose arbitration as the appropriate method of dispute resolution are often non-contentious lawyers and advisers, who advise clients on the appropriateness of an arbitration clause when entering into contracts. The views of all advisers, not just those directly involved in dispute resolution and arbitration, are therefore important, and invited in this survey. So too are the views of end users. As well as directly approaching businesses, in-house solicitors are asked to complete the survey as representatives of the businesses they work with, to provide the survey with end-user experiences and attitudes.

Of course, all those directly involved in dispute resolution are asked to respond to the survey. We would also ask for the input of those who act as arbitrators, and are looking to receive responses from all arbitrators practising in Scotland.

The survey asks questions which are tailored to your particular area of practice. For this reason, the survey is focused and will not take long to complete. If you have not already completed the survey, could we please ask you to do so by going to the web page bit.ly/2o1Kjfm.

The survey runs until 22 May. If you have any questions about it, please email Derek Auchie, at the University of Aberdeen (d.auchie@abdn.ac.uk).  
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