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Despite the National Audit Office (NAO) value for money report Legal aid and mediation for people involved in family breakdown (HC 256), the consequent House of Commons Public Accounts committee inquiry, and the new Legal Services Commission contracts (see below) the Government is still proclaiming that all is well with mediation. In a speech at the opening of the South East London Mediation Bureau at the Mediation Centre in Bromley on 26 March Harriet Harman said that her Deprtment wanted to ensure that early intervention, along with better engagement of parents and children in the process, was the norm. Where it was safe and appropriate to do so, cases should be resolved without needing to go to court: 'The family justice system now has as one of its objectives not just judging between warring parents, but also encouraging separating parents to work out the finances and the arrangements for the children amicably'. For the full news item see May  Fam Law.
This ready reference guide for all family court practitioners and judges provides a portable...