Neil Robinson, Mediator and Consultant, Family Mediation Centre Staffordshire; Visiting Professor Staffordshire University:
Imagine a meeting called jointly by the local judiciary and the Local Family Justice Board Dispute Resolution Group to discuss urgent action to divert appropriate cases from the court. This article provides the template for that discussion by offering:
- information about the current position in the courts, in mediation, and in between;
- an exploration of the available options, what has been found to work and to have failed;
- the possibility of a comprehensive, sustainable business model, strategy and structure
- a critique of the Pre-Application Protocol and FM1 Form and proposed legislation;
- an examination of each stage of the interface between courts and mediation, from contemplation of proceedings through issue and first appointment to post-proceedings;
- a reminder as to the challenges to mediation principles and process;
- a sample comprehensive model;
- judges, legal advisers, court staff, Cafcass, mediators and lawyers will find it an invaluable starting point for discussion and planning.
The full version of this article appears in the November 2013 issue of Family Law.