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Family Law

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22 DEC 2014

Volume of family mediation starts 46 per cent down on pre-LASPO levels

Volume of family mediation starts 46 per cent down on pre-LASPO levels
According to figures published by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the number of family mediations getting underway is still 46 per cent down on pre-LASPO levels.

The report, covering the third quarter of 2014 (July to September), reveals that the use of mediation has fallen since the implementation of LASPO in April 2013 with the volume of family mediation starts and assessments still down on pre-LASPO levels. However, figures reveal that in the last year there has been an increase, with a 20 per cent rise in the latest quarter compared to the same period in 2013.

Marc Lopatin, founder of divorce and separation service Dialogue First, said:

'When LASPO was enacted Ministers claimed publicly funded mediation would
double in number. Instead it has been halved. Another reminder – if it was
needed at all – that policy needs to incentivise lawyers to be enthusiastic
advisers in support of mediation.'
The statistics also show that legal aid work in family cases has dropped 4 per cent compared to the same quarter last year. This figure is down from 27 per cent recorded for the second quarter of 2014.

According to the figures, there were 300 applications for exceptional case funding (ECF) received between July and September 2014. This is an 11 per cent increase from the previous quarter but a 36% reduction compared with the same period during 2013. 

This period saw a total of 130 Family applications with only 5 of these being granted. A further 92 were refused and 31 were rejected. 

The full report is available to download here.

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