(1) That due to growing concern with limits on access to justice arising from court case backlog, delays and costs, that it has been beneficial to implement an alternative dispute resolution program in various circuit courts of our state and in certain administrative proceedings;
(2) That since implementation, these procedures have proven to be a highly-effective method for resolving disputes without resorting to adjudicatory measures, thereby easing the burden of cases pending in the judicial system;
(3) That alternative dispute resolution is continually changing the perceptions regarding the appropriateness and effectiveness of court procedures, and that the continuation and growth of these procedures is important in enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of this state;
(4) That the effectiveness of the alternative dispute resolution programs implemented in the state and in other states has increased but more definition and synthesis is necessary to better serve the citizens; and
(5) That the purpose of this article is to create a commission, as hereinafter constituted and appointed, to study various facets of alternative dispute resolution including, but not limited to, defining the objectives and goals of the programs, the types of disputes to be resolved, the promulgation of a system to ensure appropriate uniformity of alternative dispute resolution programs statewide, certification or licensure of persons engaged in providing services in alternative methods of resolving disputes and the structuring and funding of such programs.
(b) The Legislature further declares that it recognizes that the provisions of section 1, article V of the constitution of West Virginia prohibit any person from exercising the powers of more than one branch or department of government at the same time; however, it is the express purpose, intent and finding of the Legislature that those members of the commission who are members of the Legislature are acting as such while serving on the commission and in the furtherance of the Legislature's inherent right and power to investigate and inquire into and report on those matters which are legitimately within its powers, and that since the commission's role and duties are investigative and reportive in nature, the service upon the commission by its legislative members is not violative of nor inimical to the constitutional mandate with respect to the separation of governmental powers.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session