Divorce

Justice written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of John Pugh John Pugh Liberal Democrat, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will commission a review of the effects of the provisions in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 on referrals to mediation services for divorcing couples.

Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Government will be undertaking a post-implementation review of the legal aid provisions within the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) in three to five years’ time. This will include a review of the impact of the reforms, including on the provision of mediation services.

I also refer to my previous answer of 18 December in which I advised the hon. Member that monthly data are collated by the Legal Aid Agency on the number of mediation cases which receive public funding for the Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) and for mediation starts. The Ministry of Justice and the Legal Aid Agency continue to monitor the position in relation to referrals to MIAMs and on mediation starts to ensure there is no risk that the general public is unable to access services. We are also undertaking a range of activities to raise awareness of family mediation and the fact that it is still in scope for public funding, for those that qualify, and to help mediation services promote themselves.

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