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Mapping Paths to Family Justice: matching parties, cases and processes (£)
Date:17 OCT 2014
Third slide
Rosemary Hunter, Anne Barlow, Janet Smithson and Jan Ewing

One of the aims of the recently-completed Mapping Paths to Family Justice project was to determine which kinds of cases and parties are more or less suited to different forms of family dispute resolution – mediation, solicitor negotiation or collaborative law – in order to provide guidance to practitioners and parties facing the array of family dispute resolution options.

This article reports the findings on this aspect of the project. It first outlines the experiences of the parties surveyed and interviewed in being offered and choosing an out-of-court dispute resolution process. Many parties felt their choices to be constrained for a variety of reasons, and few appeared to have been given a real choice between options. The article goes on to consider factors which might render each of the three processes most appropriate or, conversely, which might suggest court proceedings are necessary, finding that the disposition of the parties is a key consideration. It finally suggests ways in which parties might both be better informed about their options, and be given a wider range of options, including different models of mediation to suit particular types of cases.


The full version of this article appears in the October 2014 issue of Family Law.

Online subscribers can access the article here.

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