Autumn Conference 2023

Motion #10

Amendments to the Standing Orders of ADRC

Motion not debated


The Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (ADRC) standing orders were last amended as part of the Co-ordinator’s Report A11 to Autumn Conference 2021. The ADRC has been working on multiple changes to these standing orders since January 2023. ADRC therefore now proposes Conference approves its current Standing Orders in full.


Replace all existing Standing Orders for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee with the following;

Alternative Disputes Resolution Committee (ADRC) Standing Orders

1)         There shall be an Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee as a stand-alone committee of the Green Party. Its aim is to assist members to resolve any disputes occurring between single members or groups of members within local parties, regional parties, sub-groupings and national committees. It will report on its activities to each Conference.

2)         The committee will consist of up to 7 members; these members will be elected biannually at alternate Green Party Autumn Conferences, with any vacancies filled by co-option or at other Conferences. To help prevent gender imbalance, no more than four members will identify as being of the same gender. Members of the ADRC can only stand for re-election a maximum of three times.

3)             The ADRC will select one of its members to be Coordinator every two years. The Coordinator will be the first point of contact with ADRC, and will be responsible for keeping ADRC’s records up to date.  Any budget to cover the ADRC’s expenses will be sent to the Green Party Executive for approval.

4)         Communication with the ADRC is via the <> email address. This address may be found in Green Spaces and on the Party members’ website. The confidential nature of disputes is such that this email address may not be monitored by non-ADRC members. An overview of ADRC work will be provided at each Green Party conference. All ADRC proceedings are confidential and will only be made public in exceptional cases and only with the approval of those involved.  Confidentiality will apply to the names, details and local parties of those involved. In exceptional circumstances legal processes may over-ride the normal rules of confidentiality

5)         The only power that the ADRC has is the power of persuasion. Most dispute resolution will be via online meetings; other methods of dispute resolution may include telephone calls, emails, letters and face to face meetings with mediators and between the aggrieved parties. If at any time either party notifies the ADRC in writing that they wish to end the resolution process then the ADRC will cease to be involved. Normally ADRC involvement ends when the two or more parties reach an agreement.

6)             ADRC involvement can take one of three routes:

a)    In line with the party’s complaints process, or provisions in the constitution, complaints may be referred to the ADRC by the Disputes and Complaints Referral Group (DCRG) for dispute resolution.

i.        If the disputants do not consent or, after due evaluation,  in the opinion of the ADRC there are no realistic prospects of any resolution, or the referrer recalls the complaints case, ADRC will pass the dispute back to the referrer.

ii.        The complaint will then be referred by the DCRG to the Green Party’s  Disciplinary Committee

b)      If a formal complaint has been made, but the respondent has been judged not to have breached the Green Party Code of Conduct or the Green Party Constitution, or to have brought the Party into disrepute, the CRG may refer the complaint to the ADRC, on the understanding that this is the only option available to the complainant.

c)      ADRC can also offer assistance independently of the complaints process if its members hear about a problem and feel that dispute resolution is possible and would improve Party well-being.

7)         The committee is able to make recommendations to appropriate Green Party bodies for adjustments to processes which may avoid disagreements and disputes arising in future or aid the settling of disputes when they occur. The committee would expect a response within 28 days.

8)         The committee will seek to develop the conflict resolution skills of all members of the Party by offering training, for example workshops at Conference. ADRC members will also seek to develop their own skills and will take training in conflict resolution if they have not previously done so.

9)         ADRC will develop guidelines as to what users of its service can expect, and ensure appropriate pro-forma templates and case recording are used by all ADRC mediators. These will be available as a resource for use in dispute resolution across the party.

10)      ADRC will create and maintain a list of approved volunteer mediators it authorises to carry out dispute resolution. This list will aim to reflect the diversity in the Green Party, and support will be offered to ensure it includes people from currently underrepresented groups. Every ADRC-approved mediator will be expected to adhere to the principles outlined in the ADRC’s Framework for Mediation, which shall be accessible to all Party members via Green Spaces. Failing to comply with the principles outlined in this framework will result in an investigation, potentially resulting in being removed from the list of ADRC mediators and also from the Committee itself, if the mediator in question is also a member of that committee.  It may also result in a formal complaint.

11)      ADRC will also offer support and assistance with the development of dispute resolution capacity in local parties, regional parties, or any national level body. Where dispute resolution can be carried out adequately by others, ADRC will normally consider referring disputants to the appropriate level initially in line with the party’s values.

12)      Where a dispute resolution process elsewhere at a local or regional level has failed and ADRC is then asked for help, ADRC will first evaluate the dispute and make appropriate recommendations.

13)      As Green Party Regional Council (GPRC) is responsible for keeping under review the general well-being of the Party, ADRC will seek to maintain a close working relationship with GPRC. This relationship should be twofold:

i)     A member of ADRC will attend GPRC meetings, if required, to provide information about ADRC actions and to explore any regional problems.

ii)    ADRC will also invite a member of GPRC to become its GPRC Friend. This friend will be kept informed of ADRC work and meetings. Any friend’s expenses will be met from the GPRC budget.

14)      These Standing Orders may be temporarily amended by a two-thirds vote of all current members of the Alternative Disputes Resolution Committee at an ADRC meeting, and the changes will stand from their issue to the Standing Orders Committee following this meeting until the next competent Green Party Conference.

15)      Because the work of ADRC depends on the active participation of all members and also because of the growing demand for the committee’s work, a member of the ADRC who ceases to participate for a substantial amount of time, for whatever reason, may be asked to resign, following a confirmatory decision by a majority of members of the committee, so another member can be co-opted.

16)      That said, of course it is anticipated that committee members will be in regular communication with each other and normally any difficulties in participation would be discussed and agreed informally without reference to this standing order.

17)      In the event of that member not taking any steps to resign or explain why they have been unable to participate in the work of ADRC, and if that member is still unable to continue as an active member within 14 days of the request for an explanation, that member shall no longer be a member of ADRC, and ADRC shall be at liberty to co-opt another person to replace them. Exceptions to this can be made following discussion with the ADRC*.

18)      In addition, an ADRC member who attends committee meetings and responds to communications but does not take on any work of the committee, and/or does not progress the work they have taken responsibility for will also be asked to resign for non-participation by the ADRC.

*Guidance for the ADRC’s decision here is that they are confident it will be a temporary period of inactivity and full duties will be resumed in an agreed period if the workload of the committee can accommodate this. Committee members are expected to contact the ADRC about any expected inactive period as soon as possible prior to the inactivity.

Last updated on 2023-10-21 at 11:41