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63333
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date remove filter
star this property answering body
Ministry of Justice more like this
star this property answering dept id 54 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Justice more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Justice more like this
star this property hansard heading Mediation more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much has been spent on legally aided family mediation in each of the last four years for which figures are available. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Exeter more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Mr Ben Bradshaw more like this
unstar this property uin 201796 more like this
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
star this property date of answer less than 2014-06-26more like thismore than 2014-06-26
star this property answer text <p>Statistics on the volume and value of family mediation funded through legal aid are contained within legal aid statistics: April 2013 to March 2014 (www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/322466/legal-aid-statistics-2013-14.pdf ). Tables 7.1 and 7.2 contain family mediation data between 2006-07 and 2013-14.</p><p> </p><p>An extract of the legal aid spend on family mediation is included in the table below:</p><p> </p><table><tbody><tr><td><p> </p></td><td><p>MIAMS</p><p>Volumes</p></td><td><p>MIAMS expenditure</p></td><td><p>Mediations</p><p>Starts</p></td><td><p>Mediations</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2010-11</p></td><td><p>26,388</p></td><td><p>£6,276,568</p></td><td><p>14,186</p></td><td><p>£6,997,924</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2011-12</p></td><td><p>31,338</p></td><td><p>£7,796,253</p></td><td><p>15,357</p></td><td><p>£6,917,892</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2012-13</p></td><td><p>30,662</p></td><td><p>£8,053,106</p></td><td><p>13,609</p></td><td><p>£6,307,518</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2013-14</p></td><td><p>13,354</p></td><td><p>£3,182,662</p></td><td><p>8,400</p></td><td><p>£4,291,680</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p><p>The large drop off in 2013-14 was due to removal of mandatory MIAM for onward legal aid funding, which meant that solicitors were no longer referring to mediation. We introduced a statutory MIAM in April 2014 as part of the Children and Families Act which places a legal obligation on an applicant to attend a MIAM before being able to issue court proceedings in certain private family law matters (children and financial disputes).</p><p> </p><p>It is too early to say what impact the introduction of statutory MIAMs has had on referral numbers but anecdotally we have heard from mediators and the judiciary that referrals are increasing and the message is getting through to the public.</p><p> </p><p>Family mediation is not regulated by this Department but legal aid remains available for mediation for those who meet the eligibility criteria.</p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark more like this
star this property answering member printed Simon Hughes more like this
star this property grouped question UIN 201798 more like this
star this property question first answered
less than 2014-06-26T15:57:11.5141385Zmore like thismore than 2014-06-26T15:57:11.5141385Z
star this property answering member
194
star this property label Biography information for Simon Hughes more like this
star this property tabling member
230
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Ben Bradshaw remove filter
63336
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date remove filter
star this property answering body
Ministry of Justice more like this
star this property answering dept id 54 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Justice more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Justice more like this
star this property hansard heading Mediation more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure that family mediation fees remain affordable. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Exeter more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Mr Ben Bradshaw more like this
unstar this property uin 201798 more like this
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
star this property date of answer less than 2014-06-26more like thismore than 2014-06-26
star this property answer text <p>Statistics on the volume and value of family mediation funded through legal aid are contained within legal aid statistics: April 2013 to March 2014 (www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/322466/legal-aid-statistics-2013-14.pdf ). Tables 7.1 and 7.2 contain family mediation data between 2006-07 and 2013-14.</p><p> </p><p>An extract of the legal aid spend on family mediation is included in the table below:</p><p> </p><table><tbody><tr><td><p> </p></td><td><p>MIAMS</p><p>Volumes</p></td><td><p>MIAMS expenditure</p></td><td><p>Mediations</p><p>Starts</p></td><td><p>Mediations</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2010-11</p></td><td><p>26,388</p></td><td><p>£6,276,568</p></td><td><p>14,186</p></td><td><p>£6,997,924</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2011-12</p></td><td><p>31,338</p></td><td><p>£7,796,253</p></td><td><p>15,357</p></td><td><p>£6,917,892</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2012-13</p></td><td><p>30,662</p></td><td><p>£8,053,106</p></td><td><p>13,609</p></td><td><p>£6,307,518</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2013-14</p></td><td><p>13,354</p></td><td><p>£3,182,662</p></td><td><p>8,400</p></td><td><p>£4,291,680</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p><p>The large drop off in 2013-14 was due to removal of mandatory MIAM for onward legal aid funding, which meant that solicitors were no longer referring to mediation. We introduced a statutory MIAM in April 2014 as part of the Children and Families Act which places a legal obligation on an applicant to attend a MIAM before being able to issue court proceedings in certain private family law matters (children and financial disputes).</p><p> </p><p>It is too early to say what impact the introduction of statutory MIAMs has had on referral numbers but anecdotally we have heard from mediators and the judiciary that referrals are increasing and the message is getting through to the public.</p><p> </p><p>Family mediation is not regulated by this Department but legal aid remains available for mediation for those who meet the eligibility criteria.</p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark more like this
star this property answering member printed Simon Hughes more like this
star this property grouped question UIN 201796 more like this
star this property question first answered
less than 2014-06-26T15:57:11.5898866Zmore like thismore than 2014-06-26T15:57:11.5898866Z
star this property answering member
194
star this property label Biography information for Simon Hughes more like this
star this property tabling member
230
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Ben Bradshaw remove filter
63340
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date remove filter
star this property answering body
Ministry of Justice more like this
star this property answering dept id 54 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Justice more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Justice more like this
star this property hansard heading Mediation more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to inform the public of the benefits of mediation. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Exeter more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Mr Ben Bradshaw more like this
unstar this property uin 201794 more like this
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
star this property date of answer less than 2014-06-26more like thismore than 2014-06-26
star this property answer text <p>We are delivering a wide-ranging programme of activity to improve public awareness and to make sure that advice agencies are providing the correct information about family mediation. This includes being very clear that legal aid is still available for mediation, and for legal support for mediation.</p><p> </p><p>We have taken action to update and improve information on our own websites and Gov.UK and we have included an article about mediation in the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) newsletter - aimed at advisors - to clarify that legal aid does remain available for mediation.</p><p> </p><p>We have also written to the mediation profession setting out some of the work we are doing and we continue to work very closely with the Family Mediation Council (FMC) to raise the profile of the court and that of the profession. This has principally included funding and working with the FMC to develop an improved website which can be used as a public signpost to mediation and information services, and developing a marketing ‘toolkit' to support mediators in promoting their services to prospective clients.</p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark more like this
star this property answering member printed Simon Hughes more like this
star this property grouped question UIN 201795 more like this
star this property question first answered
less than 2014-06-26T16:02:06.4022613Zmore like thismore than 2014-06-26T16:02:06.4022613Z
star this property answering member
194
star this property label Biography information for Simon Hughes more like this
star this property tabling member
230
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Ben Bradshaw remove filter
63341
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date remove filter
star this property answering body
Ministry of Justice more like this
star this property answering dept id 54 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Justice more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Justice more like this
star this property hansard heading Mediation more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to inform the public of the availability of legal aid for family mediation. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Exeter more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Mr Ben Bradshaw more like this
unstar this property uin 201795 more like this
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
star this property date of answer less than 2014-06-26more like thismore than 2014-06-26
star this property answer text <p>We are delivering a wide-ranging programme of activity to improve public awareness and to make sure that advice agencies are providing the correct information about family mediation. This includes being very clear that legal aid is still available for mediation, and for legal support for mediation.</p><p> </p><p>We have taken action to update and improve information on our own websites and Gov.UK and we have included an article about mediation in the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) newsletter - aimed at advisors - to clarify that legal aid does remain available for mediation.</p><p> </p><p>We have also written to the mediation profession setting out some of the work we are doing and we continue to work very closely with the Family Mediation Council (FMC) to raise the profile of the court and that of the profession. This has principally included funding and working with the FMC to develop an improved website which can be used as a public signpost to mediation and information services, and developing a marketing ‘toolkit' to support mediators in promoting their services to prospective clients.</p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark more like this
star this property answering member printed Simon Hughes more like this
star this property grouped question UIN 201794 more like this
star this property question first answered
less than 2014-06-26T16:02:06.4647989Zmore like thismore than 2014-06-26T16:02:06.4647989Z
star this property answering member
194
star this property label Biography information for Simon Hughes more like this
star this property tabling member
230
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Ben Bradshaw remove filter
63363
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date remove filter
star this property answering body
Ministry of Justice more like this
star this property answering dept id 54 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Justice more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Justice more like this
star this property hansard heading Family Law more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the causes of changes in the number of parties representing themselves in court in private law family cases. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Exeter more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Mr Ben Bradshaw more like this
unstar this property uin 201801 more like this
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
star this property date of answer less than 2014-06-26more like thismore than 2014-06-26
star this property answer text <p>Litigants in person have always been a feature of the justice system. Data on disposals in the financial year prior to April 2013 indicate that in 64% of privatefamilylaw cases there was at least one party without recorded legal representation.</p><p> </p><p>We are closely monitoring the performance of the family justice system. The number of family cases where one or more parties present themselves is published in Courts Statistics Quarterly (www.gov.uk/government/collections/court-statistics-quarterly).</p><p> </p><p>Judges are trained to help people with no legal representation and are accustomed to doing so, including by explaining procedures and what is expected of the parties. We have taken steps to help people who either want to represent themselves in court or have to do so, which include publishing a revised guide for separating parents and more training for judges. The link to the guide is:</p><p> </p><p><a href="http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetLeaflet.do?court_leaflets_id=2756" target="_blank">http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetLeaflet.do?court_leaflets_id=2756</a></p><p> </p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark more like this
star this property answering member printed Simon Hughes more like this
star this property grouped question UIN 201855 more like this
star this property question first answered
less than 2014-06-26T16:16:44.2362415Zmore like thismore than 2014-06-26T16:16:44.2362415Z
star this property answering member
194
star this property label Biography information for Simon Hughes more like this
star this property tabling member
230
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Ben Bradshaw remove filter
63339
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date remove filter
star this property answering body
Ministry of Justice more like this
star this property answering dept id 54 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Justice more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Justice more like this
star this property hansard heading Family Law more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the recent increase in the number of parties representing themselves in court in private family law cases. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Exeter more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Mr Ben Bradshaw more like this
unstar this property uin 201855 more like this
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
star this property date of answer less than 2014-06-26more like thismore than 2014-06-26
star this property answer text <p>Litigants in person have always been a feature of the justice system. Data on disposals in the financial year prior to April 2013 indicate that in 64% of privatefamilylaw cases there was at least one party without recorded legal representation.</p><p> </p><p>We are closely monitoring the performance of the family justice system. The number of family cases where one or more parties present themselves is published in Courts Statistics Quarterly (www.gov.uk/government/collections/court-statistics-quarterly).</p><p> </p><p>Judges are trained to help people with no legal representation and are accustomed to doing so, including by explaining procedures and what is expected of the parties. We have taken steps to help people who either want to represent themselves in court or have to do so, which include publishing a revised guide for separating parents and more training for judges. The link to the guide is:</p><p> </p><p><a href="http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetLeaflet.do?court_leaflets_id=2756" target="_blank">http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetLeaflet.do?court_leaflets_id=2756</a></p><p> </p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark more like this
star this property answering member printed Simon Hughes more like this
star this property grouped question UIN 201801 more like this
star this property question first answered
less than 2014-06-26T16:16:44.4470572Zmore like thismore than 2014-06-26T16:16:44.4470572Z
star this property answering member
194
star this property label Biography information for Simon Hughes more like this
star this property tabling member
230
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Ben Bradshaw remove filter
63370
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date remove filter
star this property answering body
Ministry of Justice more like this
star this property answering dept id 54 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Justice more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Justice more like this
star this property hansard heading Mediation more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effectiveness of the commercial solicitor sector and the professional not-for-profit National Family Mediation network in ensuring a future increase in take-up of family mediation by divorcing couples. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Exeter more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Mr Ben Bradshaw more like this
unstar this property uin 201782 more like this
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
star this property date of answer less than 2014-06-26more like thismore than 2014-06-26
star this property answer text <p>There has been a significant decrease in referrals to publicly funded family mediation since April 2013 when the legal aid reforms were implemented. This is in part due to fewer people visiting solicitors who previously would have directed clients to mediation.</p><p> </p><p>Before April 2013, attendance at a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) was a pre-requisite for legal representation for people eligible to obtain public funding. We introduced a statutory MIAM in April 2014 as part of the Children and Families Act. This placed a legal obligation on an applicant to attend a MIAM for the purpose of considering mediation, before being permitted to issue court proceedings in certain private family law matters (children and financial disputes).</p><p> </p><p>Legal aid remains available for mediation (and for legal help with mediation) for those who meet the eligibility criteria. We are keen to encourage mediation as an alternative to court both for those eligible for public funding and for privately funded cases.</p><p> </p><p>We are aware that a small number of mediation services have closed or are in difficulty. The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is constantly monitoring the situation to make sure there is sufficient provision for client access to mediation services. While a decline in demand is a contributory factor in mediation service closures, another significant factor is poor and unsustainable business models. There is some evidence that a number of the mediation services which have closed following legal aid reforms were vulnerable to closure before the reforms took effect.</p><p> </p><p>I have convened a Family Mediation Task Force, chaired by David Norgrove, which has considered many of the issues raised by the Member of Parliament for Exeter, including how to reverse the fall in referrals and engage the second party in the mediation process, and incentivising mediators and lawyers to work in partnership to support clients through the resolution of their dispute in compliance with the new legislation. A number of short-term financial options have been considered as well as the long term view for the future of dispute resolution services.</p><p> </p><p>The Taskforce report will be published imminently. The Government will respond to the report in due course.</p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark more like this
star this property answering member printed Simon Hughes more like this
star this property grouped question UIN
201786 more like this
201790 more like this
201797 more like this
201799 more like this
201800 more like this
star this property question first answered
less than 2014-06-26T16:26:36.0687416Zmore like thismore than 2014-06-26T16:26:36.0687416Z
star this property answering member
194
star this property label Biography information for Simon Hughes more like this
star this property tabling member
230
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Ben Bradshaw remove filter
63366
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date remove filter
star this property answering body
Ministry of Justice more like this
star this property answering dept id 54 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Justice more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Justice more like this
star this property hansard heading Mediation more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the role of the professional not-for-profit mediation sector in increasing the take-up of mediation by separating and divorcing couples. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Exeter more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Mr Ben Bradshaw more like this
unstar this property uin 201786 more like this
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
star this property date of answer less than 2014-06-26more like thismore than 2014-06-26
star this property answer text <p>There has been a significant decrease in referrals to publicly funded family mediation since April 2013 when the legal aid reforms were implemented. This is in part due to fewer people visiting solicitors who previously would have directed clients to mediation.</p><p> </p><p>Before April 2013, attendance at a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) was a pre-requisite for legal representation for people eligible to obtain public funding. We introduced a statutory MIAM in April 2014 as part of the Children and Families Act. This placed a legal obligation on an applicant to attend a MIAM for the purpose of considering mediation, before being permitted to issue court proceedings in certain private family law matters (children and financial disputes).</p><p> </p><p>Legal aid remains available for mediation (and for legal help with mediation) for those who meet the eligibility criteria. We are keen to encourage mediation as an alternative to court both for those eligible for public funding and for privately funded cases.</p><p> </p><p>We are aware that a small number of mediation services have closed or are in difficulty. The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is constantly monitoring the situation to make sure there is sufficient provision for client access to mediation services. While a decline in demand is a contributory factor in mediation service closures, another significant factor is poor and unsustainable business models. There is some evidence that a number of the mediation services which have closed following legal aid reforms were vulnerable to closure before the reforms took effect.</p><p> </p><p>I have convened a Family Mediation Task Force, chaired by David Norgrove, which has considered many of the issues raised by the Member of Parliament for Exeter, including how to reverse the fall in referrals and engage the second party in the mediation process, and incentivising mediators and lawyers to work in partnership to support clients through the resolution of their dispute in compliance with the new legislation. A number of short-term financial options have been considered as well as the long term view for the future of dispute resolution services.</p><p> </p><p>The Taskforce report will be published imminently. The Government will respond to the report in due course.</p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark more like this
star this property answering member printed Simon Hughes more like this
star this property grouped question UIN
201782 more like this
201790 more like this
201797 more like this
201799 more like this
201800 more like this
star this property question first answered
less than 2014-06-26T16:26:36.2103132Zmore like thismore than 2014-06-26T16:26:36.2103132Z
star this property answering member
194
star this property label Biography information for Simon Hughes more like this
star this property tabling member
230
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Ben Bradshaw remove filter
63345
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date remove filter
star this property answering body
Ministry of Justice more like this
star this property answering dept id 54 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Justice more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Justice more like this
star this property hansard heading Mediation more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of introducing a free non-means tested initial mediation information and assessment meeting on the take-up of mediation. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Exeter more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Mr Ben Bradshaw more like this
unstar this property uin 201790 more like this
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
star this property date of answer less than 2014-06-26more like thismore than 2014-06-26
star this property answer text <p>There has been a significant decrease in referrals to publicly funded family mediation since April 2013 when the legal aid reforms were implemented. This is in part due to fewer people visiting solicitors who previously would have directed clients to mediation.</p><p> </p><p>Before April 2013, attendance at a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) was a pre-requisite for legal representation for people eligible to obtain public funding. We introduced a statutory MIAM in April 2014 as part of the Children and Families Act. This placed a legal obligation on an applicant to attend a MIAM for the purpose of considering mediation, before being permitted to issue court proceedings in certain private family law matters (children and financial disputes).</p><p> </p><p>Legal aid remains available for mediation (and for legal help with mediation) for those who meet the eligibility criteria. We are keen to encourage mediation as an alternative to court both for those eligible for public funding and for privately funded cases.</p><p> </p><p>We are aware that a small number of mediation services have closed or are in difficulty. The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is constantly monitoring the situation to make sure there is sufficient provision for client access to mediation services. While a decline in demand is a contributory factor in mediation service closures, another significant factor is poor and unsustainable business models. There is some evidence that a number of the mediation services which have closed following legal aid reforms were vulnerable to closure before the reforms took effect.</p><p> </p><p>I have convened a Family Mediation Task Force, chaired by David Norgrove, which has considered many of the issues raised by the Member of Parliament for Exeter, including how to reverse the fall in referrals and engage the second party in the mediation process, and incentivising mediators and lawyers to work in partnership to support clients through the resolution of their dispute in compliance with the new legislation. A number of short-term financial options have been considered as well as the long term view for the future of dispute resolution services.</p><p> </p><p>The Taskforce report will be published imminently. The Government will respond to the report in due course.</p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark more like this
star this property answering member printed Simon Hughes more like this
star this property grouped question UIN
201782 more like this
201786 more like this
201797 more like this
201799 more like this
201800 more like this
star this property question first answered
less than 2014-06-26T16:26:36.3040257Zmore like thismore than 2014-06-26T16:26:36.3040257Z
star this property answering member
194
star this property label Biography information for Simon Hughes more like this
star this property tabling member
230
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Ben Bradshaw remove filter
63332
star this property registered interest false more like this
star this property date remove filter
star this property answering body
Ministry of Justice more like this
star this property answering dept id 54 more like this
star this property answering dept short name Justice more like this
star this property answering dept sort name Justice more like this
star this property hansard heading Mediation more like this
star this property house id 1 more like this
star this property legislature
25259
star this property pref label House of Commons more like this
star this property question text To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his policy is towards funding the Help with Family Mediation scheme. more like this
star this property tabling member constituency Exeter more like this
star this property tabling member printed
Mr Ben Bradshaw more like this
unstar this property uin 201797 more like this
star this property answer
answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
star this property date of answer less than 2014-06-26more like thismore than 2014-06-26
star this property answer text <p>There has been a significant decrease in referrals to publicly funded family mediation since April 2013 when the legal aid reforms were implemented. This is in part due to fewer people visiting solicitors who previously would have directed clients to mediation.</p><p> </p><p>Before April 2013, attendance at a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) was a pre-requisite for legal representation for people eligible to obtain public funding. We introduced a statutory MIAM in April 2014 as part of the Children and Families Act. This placed a legal obligation on an applicant to attend a MIAM for the purpose of considering mediation, before being permitted to issue court proceedings in certain private family law matters (children and financial disputes).</p><p> </p><p>Legal aid remains available for mediation (and for legal help with mediation) for those who meet the eligibility criteria. We are keen to encourage mediation as an alternative to court both for those eligible for public funding and for privately funded cases.</p><p> </p><p>We are aware that a small number of mediation services have closed or are in difficulty. The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is constantly monitoring the situation to make sure there is sufficient provision for client access to mediation services. While a decline in demand is a contributory factor in mediation service closures, another significant factor is poor and unsustainable business models. There is some evidence that a number of the mediation services which have closed following legal aid reforms were vulnerable to closure before the reforms took effect.</p><p> </p><p>I have convened a Family Mediation Task Force, chaired by David Norgrove, which has considered many of the issues raised by the Member of Parliament for Exeter, including how to reverse the fall in referrals and engage the second party in the mediation process, and incentivising mediators and lawyers to work in partnership to support clients through the resolution of their dispute in compliance with the new legislation. A number of short-term financial options have been considered as well as the long term view for the future of dispute resolution services.</p><p> </p><p>The Taskforce report will be published imminently. The Government will respond to the report in due course.</p><p> </p>
star this property answering member constituency Bermondsey and Old Southwark more like this
star this property answering member printed Simon Hughes more like this
star this property grouped question UIN
201782 more like this
201786 more like this
201790 more like this
201799 more like this
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star this property question first answered
less than 2014-06-26T16:26:36.3989211Zmore like thismore than 2014-06-26T16:26:36.3989211Z
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194
star this property label Biography information for Simon Hughes more like this
star this property tabling member
230
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Ben Bradshaw remove filter