The Association of Lawyers for Children published a report by Dr Julia Brophy on judicial approaches in settlement conference pilots in children cases, research the ALC also funded.
The report is a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with 19 advocates reporting on practices in 61 settlement conferences in the initial five pilot areas identified by the Ministry of Justice.
According to the report, findings to date do not support a roll out of the procedure in its current form. Further evidence, both qualitative and quantitative, is required. The Protocol Principles (2016) were not applied consistently by judges. Variation in approaches covered the delivery of a preamble, attention to consent during the procedure, pressure on parties and advocates, and approaches to the involvement of advocates.
Read the full report here