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Clause 24

Part of Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 15th March 2007.

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Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs 2:45 pm, 15th March 2007

The provisions in clause 24 are enabling provisions, so they can embrace any kind of mediation. Most immediately, the Government have in mind mediation by tribunal members and staff, which seems to be a wise way forward, but there is absolutely nothing to prevent the involvement of community mediators such as the those to which the hon. Gentleman referred. I know of   one such very good scheme in Wandsworth. The county court in Manchester had an excellent scheme that is now being rolled out in other areas and which might be included.

Essentially, mediation is fairly high on our agenda. Clause 24 was added in the House of Lords by the Opposition, not because we did not want mediation, but because we did not think it necessary to include a clause to enable it. That is exactly what it does; it will enable mediation and we will encourage it in whatever form is best for the parties.