Mediation Legal Aid Changes: Letters to Mediators from the Law Society and Simon Hughes

Mediation Legal Aid Changes: Letters to Mediators from the Law Society and Simon Hughes

I reproduce below an email I have received from the Law Society, which is a further update on the proposed changes to legal aid for mediation.

This is the update to Solicitor Mediators, who like myself are accredited by the Law Society.

The headline is that the changes will be introduced “in the the Autumn” ; whenever that means!

The link takes you to a letter to Mediator from the Minister Simon Hughes, which explains/gives excuses as to why more radical changes could not be introduced! Here is a further link to his letter  Letter to Mediators from Simon Hughes 20-08-14

Letter to Law Society Accredited Mediators

Dear Family Mediation Scheme member

Yesterday the MoJ announced that, as recommended by the Family Mediation Task Force, the legal aid budget will fund a single mediation session for both parties, if one of the parties is legally aided. This change is to be introduced ‘in the autumn’ and will run for a maximum of three years, subject to six-monthly reviews.

Any improvement in legal aid provision to encourage, or remove barriers to, the take up of mediation is welcome, but overall the government’s response to the Task Force report will come as a disappointment to family mediators.

 Here is a  letter to mediators from Family Justice Minister, Simon Hughes, setting out that response in more detail. The letter explains why the MoJ did not take up other of the Task Force’s financial recommendations; and it also sets out the government’s views on how the residence test should apply to family mediation (the government is appealing the High Court judgment on the test’s legality). 

We will keep you informed of further developments.

Yours sincerely

Mark Paulson
Head of Family & Social Justice
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL

t: 020 7320 5812 (internal 4355)
m: 07976 182112
http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/ 
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