Introduction: MSUK Group complies with the requirements of Family Mediation Association MSUK Group will deal promptly and courteously with any complaint, formal or informal, made to the service. The cause of any problem of which a client has complained will be...
On Monday Lord Wolfson the Under Secretary of State for Justice and the President of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane spoke at the launch of Mediation Week. Both stated their desire to make mediation the default position for most family disputes. Lord Wolfson...
The Justice secretary Dominic Raab speaking to the justice committee of the House of Commons last week stated that over 50% of cases in the court system did not need to be heard by a judge. In November the Justice secretary outlined his plans that parents who are...
Mediation Voucher Scheme is a Success Says McFarlane
Sir Andrew McFarlane revealed in the Jersey Family Law Conference last week that the Family Mediation Council (FMC) had distributed over 2000 vouchers, averaging 130 per week and that 77% of cases reached whole or partial agreement. These statistics demonstrate just how effective mediation can be with the added benefit that resolving disputes in mediation takes pressure off the court system which is currently overwhelmed.
The government had further allocated £800,000 to the scheme back in August which it is estimated will help a further 2000 families.
McFarlane also revealed that further pilots are being developed in North Wales and Dorset and will be introduced in early 2022 that will test a more investigative approach in private children cases. Under the model, a child impact assessment by a multi-agency panel led by Cafcass will gather information from all relevant sources to identify safety issues and family needs. A resulting ‘child impact report’ will enable a triaging legal adviser or judge to decide how best to proceed, which could be a further welfare report, fact-finding hearing, short hearing to deal with straightforward issues, directions hearing or pausing the proceedings to refer the parents to an out-of-court service which may include local mediation services.
‘The Courts ought to be in many of these areas the point of last resort. We should use much more alternative dispute resolution for these things,’ he said.
Mediation Solutions UK is currently one of the top five suppliers of the voucher scheme in the UK so its very pleasing to note that all the hard work we do is making a difference to families and helping parents move forward. I think we should applaud the government and the FMC for backing the voucher scheme.