Reunite has published a final report on its Mediation Pilot Scheme which aimed to determine whether there is place for mediation in cases of international parental child abduction and whether it can provide a realistic, practical alternative to the court process while at the same time working in legal conformity with the principles of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980. A total of 28 cases progressed to a concluded mediation and, when considering the outcome of those cases, the overwhelming response was that there was a clear role for mediation for resolving highly contentious cases and that parents were willing to embrace the use of mediation as a means of resolving their dispute.
As a follow up to the scheme Reunite will be applying for the Quality Mark Standard for Mediation so that mediation can be undertaken in legally aided cases. Until that time mediation cases are undertaken privately and discussions are under way with Bromley Family Mediation Service to use their facilities for legally aided cases. For the key findings of the report see  International Family Law, Issue 1.