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It’s time to consider making family mediation compulsory

Date:23 APR 2021
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Chief Executive, NFM

Are we serious about reducing the family court backlog?    

Triggered by the huge backlog in family courts, the government’s family mediation voucher scheme was broadly welcomed by professionals when it launched last month.     

It won’t solve the issue, but it’s a step forward in the campaign to ensure mediation becomes the preferred choice for resolving family disputes. Crucially, Ministers have now started the queue-reduction ball rolling and professionals must consider how to accelerate it. I believe that if the government is serious about removing the backlog, it is time to revisit a discussion that’s been ‘on-off’ for many years.     

Around the time vouchers were launched, the master of the rolls revealed compulsory mediation is under consideration for civil cases, as a way of keeping disputes out of clogged courts. Why stop there? The idea of making mediation compulsory in family cases has been aired numerous times down the years. It's never got beyond first base in a meaningful way. It’s high time to revisit the idea.     

Read the full article here.