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Publicly funded mediation continues to struggle

Date:17 FEB 2014
Journals Manager + Online Editor

According to the latest Freedom of Information request from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), publicly funded family mediation continues to decline since changes to public funding in April 2013.

According to the figures, collated in a report by lawyersupportedmediation.com, there were 665 mediation starts for November 2013 compared with 1,173 in November 2012. The 43% fall is the third highest year-on-year monthly since the MoJ effectively severed the link between lawyer and mediator in April last year.

The report goes on to say that, 'Help with mediation' (publicly funded legal advice available in parallel to mediation) remains almost non-existent across the UK. In November 2013, just six claims for payment were lodged by family lawyers with the Legal Aid Agency, taking the total number of claims for 'Help with Mediation' between April and November 2013 to a grand total of 26.

By comparison, at least 6,064 people received legal aid when attending publicly funded mediation. The data shows hardly any received legal advice and/or the drafting a consent order from a legal aid family lawyer.

The full report, including detailed figures, is available on the lawyersupportedmediation.com website. 

An in-depth article, by David Emmerson and His Honour Judge Platt, reviewing the impact of the LASPO changes on family legal aid will appear in the April issue of Family Law.