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Government to fund 'one single mediation session for everyone'

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Initiative announced in response to recommendations of the Mediation Task Force.

  • The Government has announced that it is taking forward some of the recommendations recently put forward by the Mediation Task Force

    Most significantly it has said that it will fund 'one single mediation session for everyone', if one of the parties is already legally aided. This programme will be funded for up to 3 years (although it will be reviewed every six months).

    Other ongoing initiatives will see

    • the set up of an advisory group of experts to "improve practice and make sure mediation is focussed on the best outcomes for any children involved"
    • a review of future Legal Aid Agency (LAA) mediation provider contracts to improve service
    • a look at options for "reforming the management of the mediation sector"
    • expansion of the ongoing awareness campaign highlighting the availability of legal aid for mediation

    Resolution, though, are disappointed with the announcement. The current chair, Jo Edwards, points out that

    "these measures will only help those where at least one person is eligible for legal aid and the case is suitable for mediation. Mediation is not a suitable route for everyone and it's important to remember that most couples need more than one session to reach agreement.

    We know mediation numbers have dropped since the cuts to family legal aid, so we hope this measure will help some people separate in a way that minimises conflict. However, we do not expect this to have a significant impact on the number of couples resolving their disputes out of court."

    The full statement can be read on the MoJ website while Resolution's response can be read here


Published: 21/08/2014

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