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Examination Timing: 00H03M14S

During a visit to her uncle, Ms. Blake is badly bitten by his dog. Her finger is severed in the incident and requires surgery to reattach it. Her doctor advises that it will take six months to determine if the surgery is successful, and she may need a further operation and physiotherapy. Ms. Blake carefully considers claiming compensation from her uncle and decides to pursue a claim. Her uncle wishes to avoid the costs and delay of court proceedings and prefers to resolve the claim through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). He proposes using a close friend, who is suitably qualified to conduct a mediation. The uncle insists his friend is highly qualified and can exercise better judgment. Ms. Blake feels uncomfortable with the proposed mediator and is worried about not securing full compensation if she does not pursue formal court proceedings. She decides mediation is not appropriate and wants to instruct a solicitor to issue proceedings.

Which of the following statements best explains why Ms. Blake should decline to participate in ADR as proposed by her uncle?

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The primary concern in mediation is the independence and impartiality of the mediator. Since the proposed mediator is a close friend of the uncle and has been selected by him, the mediator is unlikely to be truly independent. This lack of impartiality could bias the mediation process against Ms. Blake, undermining her confidence in achieving a fair outcome. Therefore, it is reasonable for Ms. Blake to decline ADR in this situation and pursue formal court proceedings where she can ensure a more impartial resolution. 

Key Point: Impartiality and independence are crucial in ADR processes like mediation. A mediator with personal connections to one party may compromise the fairness of the process. Ensuring the mediator is neutral is essential for maintaining trust and fairness in the resolution process.

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