For family law services it’s a mixture of bad news with some obvious pointers for putting things right. First the bad news: In 2013/14 the number of mediation starts plummeted by 38% following the removal of legal aid from family lawyers for most family law matters.
Practitioners will recall that in pre-LASPO times lawyers first had to make a compulsory referral to mediation before being allowed to access the next pot of legal aid. As a direct result there were 13 609 mediation starts in 2012/13. With that requirement removed this fell to 8 400 in 2013/14.
Not surprisingly the fall in numbers gave way to a massive £16.8 million under spend by the MoJ on family mediation in 2013/14. One would imagine this to be extremely embarrassing for MoJ top brass given this is one saving they weren’t looking to make!
Read the full article here.