JISC Legal recognises that some of the issues which arise in relation to law and ICT are in the context of a dispute. By its remit, JISC Legal is an information service, and does not act on behalf of parties in a dispute. The provision of information with regard to the law only goes part of the way to allowing resolution of a dispute, we realise, and therefore we recognise the need for advice and guidance on best practice in sorting out any conflict.
The Improving Dispute Resolution Advisory Service (IDRAS) is a not-for-profit company which has been set-up (with initial HEFCE funding) to assist UK further and higher education institutions with the effective and efficient resolution of disputes (with students, staff or external bodies) through appropriate alternative methods (such as mediation and early neutral evaluation). It is expected that adoption of such techniques will lessen the costs, stress and ill-feeling that a blinkered resort to formal, adversarial and legalistic procedures sometimes brings.
JISC Legal, with its experience in providing advice and guidance, is supporting this initiative through membership of IDRAS's board. In return, it is hoped that those facing disputes who approach JISC Legal can be steered to relevant, practical and high quality advice on resolving the difficulties.
IDRAS aims to provide independent support to all those in HE and FE who may find themselves involved in disputes, including employers and institutions, students and employees, and other partners of institutions, research councils and funders. It aims to reflect best practice and is based on research and extensive case experience. For further details on what IDRAS does, go to their website at http://www.idras.ac.uk.