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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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Fewer, more diverse clients are presenting at MIAMs, research finds
Date:3 APR 2014
Journals Manager + Online Editor

MOJ research published today indicates that fewer clients are presenting at MIAMs and those who do are more diverse, exhibiting a wider variety of circumstances and posing more challenging propositions for mediators.

The report, Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) and mediation in private family law disputes: Qualitative research findings, explores the extent to which MIAMs are encouraging publicly and privately funded clients to attend mediation, and which resolution methods clients who attend MIAMs choose to resolve their family disputes. The experiences, decisions and actions of clients were examined through qualitative interviews with practitioners and clients.

The report states:

'In summer 2013, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) commissioned TNS BMRB to conduct a broad programme of research focused on the Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) and mediation. It comprised a range of research methodologies including qualitative interviews, a survey and a case file review. This report summarises the qualitative findings from this multi-staged programme, which was conducted by TNS BMRB and academic partners. This research explores the extent to which MIAMs are encouraging publicly and privately funded clients to attend mediation, and which resolution methods clients who attend MIAMs choose to resolve their family disputes. The experiences, decisions and actions of clients were examined through qualitative interviews with practitioners and clients. The fieldwork for this research involved 20 mediator practitioner depth interviews, 36 depth interviews with MIAM clients and 24 with court parties, all carried out between September and November 2013. Conclusions drawn in this report are on the basis of this small sample of qualitative interviews, all of which took place shortly after the implementation of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012. This analysis will be developed as the broader programme of research progresses.'

The full report is available to download here.

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