MP calls for more use of mediation

Waveney MP Peter Aldous called on the Government to encourage more use of mediation to resolve changes to access arrangements for children as they grow up and their parents’ relationships and personal situations change.
 
In Oral Questions to the Minister for Justice and Civil Liberties, Simon Hughes MP, in the House of Commons yesterday, Peter asked what steps the Ministry of Justice is making to encourage the use of mediation so that going to court is a last resort.
 
The Minister gave his assurances that a statutory obligation was introduced in April for separating couples to consider mediation supported by legal aid when there are children or family implications. He confirmed that Sir David Norgrove  commissioned a report, suggesting that the number of disputes that go to mediation could be increased. The percentage that goes to court currently standing at 30% could be resolved by mediation in the future.
 
Given that changing a court order can be harrowing and costly, Mr Aldous pressed for further confirmation that the Government will redouble their efforts to make mediation a meaningful alternative.
 
Mr Hughes responded by indicating that he had consulted with the mediation industry and publicity had been conducted on both a local and regional level. The Government has an obligation to ensure that, wherever possible, disputes do not take place in public, as that exposes the private lives of families and children in particular. It aims to significantly reduce the number of cases that go to court down to 5%.
 
Peter said:
“I very much welcome the Minister’s reassurances that more will be done to support families through the mediation process as a more economical and less distressing alternative to going to court, particularly when it comes to child custody disputes. I look forward to seeing this progress in the months ahead.”
 

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Peter holds regular surgeries at various locations in the constituency. Please call 01502 586568 to make an appointment.

Next Surgeries - 2018: 
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