Resolution guards against mandatory mediation: oral evidence to the Justice Committee

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Resolution responded to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation on supporting earlier resolution of private family law arrangements. In its response, Resolution stressed that:

  • Mediation helps and will continue to help many families who choose to use it.
  • But it is not right for everyone, and should not be forced upon anyone.
  • Other forms of out of court dispute resolution need to be considered and funded.
  • Families should also be provided with access to early legal advice.

For some families, reaching agreement themselves, either independently or with the support of a suitable, trained professional, such as a family mediator, is often the best way of arriving at a long-term solution, and in the best interests of any children. However, Resolution does not support the requirement for pre-court mediation as proposed in the consultation paper.

In addition to this consultation response, Jo Edwards, Chair of Resolution’s Family Law Reform Group, gave oral evidence to the Justice Committee on Monday 19th June 2023. Giving evidence, Jo said: “The focus on mediation in isolation is misguided. I speak as a mediator – and many of our members are mediators – but we also practice lots of different forms of out-of-court dispute resolution, so we would want there to be a broader focus.

“What is also sadly lacking is that there is no funding for any initial legal advice. That is a message that we have been making to this Committee now for around eight years and we feel very strongly that without that initial funding for legal advice, unfortunately these proposals are going to fail.”

Everything Resolution does is by members for members. Resolution would like to thank the many committees who were involved in putting this consultation response together, including our: Domestic Abuse Committee, Children Committee, Dispute Resolution Committee, Pensions, Tax & Financial Remedies Committee and  Collaborative Working Party who supported the work of our Family Law Reform Group and members of our National Committee.

Resolution would also like to thank the 1,000+ members who completed our Vision for Family Justice survey. As part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, we asked our members to share their views about the changes they would like to see to family justice.

This research will ensure Resolution’s campaigning and lobbying work is even stronger in 2023 and beyond; standing up for, and supporting you all in creating a system that works for you and your clients.

One of the ways you can get involved and influence our work is by joining a committee. Becoming a member of a Resolution committee is a rewarding way to share your knowledge, expertise and talent with Resolution’s members. Several committees are currently recruiting new members. If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved with Resolution, visit: