Family Proceedings

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 21st November 2017.

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Photo of Jo Stevens Jo Stevens Labour, Cardiff Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if his Department will make an assessment of whether there is a causal link between changing the level of family legal aid and the number of mediation assessments and starts in family law cases.

Photo of Phillip Lee Phillip Lee The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Government is committed to promoting mediation as a less stressful and quicker method of resolving private family disputes. Mediation must first be considered before private family cases are resolved in court proceedings, except in cases of domestic abuse. Since November 2014, legal aid covers the cost of the Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) and the first mediation session for both parties, even if just one of them is eligible.

The Lord Chancellor recently announced the post-implementation review of the legal aid changes made by, and following, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. The review will consider the effect of the major changes to legal aid made by LASPO as well as amendments made subsequently as part of the ‘Legal Aid Transformation’ programme. At the same time the Government laid a Post Legislative Memorandum which addressed the implementation of these changes.

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