Media regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has today launched a year-long pilot arbitration scheme aimed at resolving disputes between claimants and the press while avoiding hefty litigation costs.

The scheme will be run by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR). Over 20 publications have agreed to take part, including national papers The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and The Times.

The voluntary scheme will involve both parties agree to binding arbitration overseen by specialist barristers recruited by CEDR to act as arbitrators.

The latter will be able to require the provision of remedies and payment of costs by one party to the other; but built into the process is an opportunity for both the claimant and press to try to reach a mutually agreed settlement before a final decision.

The bespoke scheme will involve a ‘small fee’ for both claimant and publication. Costs have been fixed and ’kept to a minimum’ and are capped at £2,800 (+VAT) for the claimant, though if the case is resolved after a preliminary ruling, it will only cost £300 (+VAT).

IPSO chair Sir Alan Moses (pictured), the former appeal court judge, said:

 ’Arbitration is not just about reducing costs and delays associated with litigation, it is about widening access to justice for members of the public. They need a means whereby they can vindicate their legal rights without going to court.’